Stress is indeed a natural part of any life, no matter how old you are. Even an infant endures the stresses of being uncomfortable in a dirty diaper, hunger pangs, and needing attention. Children deal with the demands of homework, sports, friends, and the stress of pleasing their parents.
Teenagers have all that and may add the pressures of a job and a boyfriend or girlfriend. As adults, we deal with jobs, our children and the stresses they go through, the dynamics of marriage or the lack of them, and maintaining who we are through all of it.
Stress is here to stay, but we all have to find a balance. This issue is so universally relevant that we have named August 15th as National Relaxation Day. Below are some ways you can celebrate with your family.
Go To Church
Want everyone to experience less of the effects of stress? Take your family to church. It is a scientific fact that regular churchgoers experience a boost to their immune systems and lower blood pressure.
These are common casualties of a stress-filled life. Regularly attending services not only helps relieve the effects of stress on the body but is shown to lengthen your life by two to three years. The center of the most churches is the love of God.
In the attempt to mimic that love, attendees tend to help out the needy on a more frequent basis, offer a shoulder to cry on, and help each other through untraveled roads of life. Each has been shown to significantly lower the effects of stress on the human body for those being helped AND those doing the helping.
Turn Off the Electronics
Thanks to the evolution of technology, we process more information now than ever before. With the touch of a finger, you can Google any question you can think of and receive an answer, text or email anyone in the world, and partake in almost any kind of media you can think of.
We spend more time with the person in on our screen than the person right in front of us and to top it off, most of the time, we don’t even like it. Our brains are simply overloaded with the amount of information available to us. The bad part is, it’s a proven fact that the real live people standing right in front of us can help us cope much better than our screen time friends.
Make it a family rule to turn off the electronics at key times like dinner and a couple of hours before bed. For those of you wondering why before bed, it’s also a fact that sleep helps us deal with stress better. Screen time too close to bed will kind the wheels in your head from slowing down enough to get good rest.
Get Outside Together
Lastly, take the family outside on a regular basis. Studies are showing we were ill-advised to think we could separate ourselves from the natural world we evolved in. One Japanese psychologist had several people take a stroll through a cityscape and several others take a stroll through the woods.
The results were amazing. Those who took it back to nature experienced significant drops in blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone called cortisol. Humans were simply not made to process the sights and sounds of the city as well as we are wired for the rippling of a creek or the song of a bird.
Take the kids and spend some time camping or hiking. You could also set a night apart for stargazing or snipe hunting. Whatever you choose, choose to do it outside. Your body and mind will thank for it.
Stress is the sludge that slows down our daily progress in life. With the tips above, you and your family can move a little faster in that pursuit of happiness.