This Side Up

It’s distressing to know our stress levels are going up.

January 1, 2014 

It seems impossible that 2013 is almost over.

Where did it go? It has been a crazy year for me, so much going on, so much to do and so little time to accomplish what I needed to do.

Since I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, I always look for some self help out there. This year, I read an article titled “Time Out!”

According to the World Health Organization, the yearly cost of stress to American businesses is as high as $300 billion. During the past 30 years, self reported levels of stress have increased 18 percent for women and 25 percent for men. I know mine has gone up the charts.

But, there’s hope.

Hundreds of studies conclude that when we spend regular intervals being quiet, emptying our minds, relaxing our nervous system and raising awareness of what is going on between our ears, we are indeed happier, healthier, more competent, helpful, empathic, creative minded people. Research suggests that mindfulness practices are useful in the treatment of pain, stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and addiction.

Mindfulness is nothing but push ups for the brain. There are no rules. You can pray, meditate, or just stare into space. It gives your brain and your stress level a break.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “ The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” This might not be a foolproof cure for stress but I am going to try it.

A very happy and stress free 2014 to all.

Have a comment or column idea for Pat? Email her at Pat Eudy09@carolina.rr.com.

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