Friday, August 16, 2013

Dance Your Stress Away

Stress is as much of a silent killer as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. In fact, stress can be a precursor to many forms of sickness. At any rate, when you have diabetes or heart disease, people typical treat it daily with some form of medicine given to them by a doctor. So why should we think that stress is any different?

My point is that we go through life, ignoring stress while it kills us. It’s like ignoring the oil light when we reach 5,000 miles and it is time for an oil change. We keep putting it off and putting it off until finally, our car stops. The same is true with stress. If we keep ignoring it, stress can do irreparable damage to our body.

So what do we do about it?

The last thing we should do is ignore it. Hey, I will admit that sometimes you just don’t see it. It sounds odd, but sometimes you can be stressed out and don’t recognize it. The reason why is because stress is a master of disguise. Stress can appear as a headache, high blood pressure, chest pain, inability to sleep, overeating, under eating or a lack of sexual desire. And that is only a fraction of the many ways that stress disguises itself.

And we have reasons to stress. Our co-worker, boss, church member, church, car, bills, job, children, parents, grandparents and your health are all possible causes of stress. It would be in our best interest to eliminate the cause of stress in the first place. Like cancer in the body, it may be possible to get rid of the cancerous cells in order for the rest of the body to live.

But that is not always possible.

The same is true for stress; it may not be possible to eliminate all causes of stress. Our boss may be a serious source of stress but she is the one that signs our paycheck. Our children will stress us out—big surprise there—but who can afford to send their children to a military school?

I think that it has been well documented that stress is bad for us or at the very least, too much stress is bad. Yet we do not take it serious enough to handle it with a daily regimen. I propose to you that it is in our best interest to treat stress daily, as if it was a manageable disease.

On a daily basis we should avoid too much caffeine and alcohol. And on a daily basis we should incorporate, a balanced diet, plenty of sleep, prayer, meditation, relaxation, laughter and some type of physical activity.

Treat it as if it is the doctor’s orders. I am a fan of running/walking outdoors, using cardio machines like the elliptical trainer, playing with my little girl and using Kinect on the Xbox.  It really doesn’t matter, as long as it is fun. On the Kinect, I even find myself trying some of the dances—unsuccessfully, but that is not the point. The point is that I am doing something for fun and it is helping me deal with stress. So deal with your stress daily. Relax, laugh a little, enjoy life and in the privacy of your home, why not dance your stress away?