Stress Is Toxic

A lot like inflammation, stress can be powerful and useful and even life saving. It’s when it becomes chronic, mismanaged, and out of balance that it becomes problematic, or even dangerous. My pastor brought the heat on navigating stress last week. We looked at the story of Martha and Mary with some fresh eyes and it impacted me in a new way. It also got my wheels spinning about how this applies to all of us and our health.

Stress gets our attention. It can help us redefine our priorities. It can cause us to find a way to make better balance. It can slow us down when we wouldn’t have otherwise allowed that for ourselves.

Chronic stress has serious life and health implications. Impacting the nervous system, mental health, immune function, and everything in between. I’m not going to make a list of how stress can harm. Not here. This is a toolkit of sorts.

Has anyone ever told you to stop stressing? Do they WANNA get hit?! 😆 I think we’d all stop stressing if it were that easy. Let me lay out a few tools that might be useful in your toolkit as you navigate stress in your own life and in your own unique set of circumstances. Take what works, leave what doesn’t. Or maybe tuck some of it away for a time it might come in handy. I’m coming to you as someone who has lived with significant trauma and stress that was not something I had any control over and I am in NO WAY suggesting that any of us can live stress free. I also am not suggesting a victim oughta be carrying any ounce of blame. This here is a bucket of love from someone who cares for you. Just a little list and a whole lotta “you’re doing a good work” from me.

Become aware of the problem
Name the contributors
Plan breaks
Ask for help
Allow help
Recite truth
More gratitude
Get in community
Allow flexibility when possible
Stop carrying loads that aren’t yours
Healthy boundaries
Exercise that “No” muscle
Exercise. Doesn’t matter how. Just move that body with some purpose. Slow walk. Just move.
Prioritize rest
Fuel well
Drink some dang water
Less criticizing
Get your bare feet on the earth
Get some early morning sunshine
Write out times you overcame past obstacles
Stop comparing