Stress and Allergies

I read an article the other day about how stress can aggravate and worsen allergies.   I had no idea.  Basically stress breaks down your immune system and makes you more susceptible to many ailments, one of which is allergies.  I suffer from allergies pretty regularly now.  My allergies started out fairly minimal, but the last few years have been pretty bad.  Right now we are in the height of Cedar season here in Austin.  It’s bad and I live in a cedar forest, which does not help matters.  

I wouldn’t say I have high levels of stress on a regular basis, but I do think I maintain some level of stress.  When I feel as if I have a lot to do I tend to become subconsciously stressed.   I can get overwhelmed at times.  Yesterday I decided to do a little experiment on myself.  I tried to stay calmer.  I focused on the task at hand and did not run through  my entire to-do list all through the day.  I took deep breaths throughout the day to keep me calm and peaceful and I have to say, my allergies seemed a little better.  I have no idea if that had anything to do with it, but I found it interesting.

Click here to read the article.   If you have allergies take a look and see what you think, and maybe give it a try.   If nothing else it’s worth a try, and you’ll be less stressed as well!

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Taming Stress

Last night, and this morning, I found myself getting a little stressed.  I just had that  feeling of being overwhelmed, with too many to-do’s on my list.  I really do not like this feeling and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I am usually fairly organized and on top of my activities, and I do not get too stressed very often.  I cannot say that is true for my past life, but it is true today. 

I do realize that because of my own choices, I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.  So, it’s really my own fault and I can’t blame it on anything else.  Darn.  I have to be accountable to myself and I have to get everything accomplished somehow. 

I’m sure some of you have found yourself in the same kind of situation.  Sometimes we just have a lot of things to-do, whether we like it or not.  But, we can change a couple of things.  Here is my list to help you avoid and relieve stress:

  1. Be realistic with your time and how long certain activities take.   Build in cushions to your day.  You will need them.
  2. Do not schedule more than you can do in one day.  Allow for the daily activities that must take place everyday, and only schedule so many “new” items to your daily routine.
  3. Keep one calendar with all of your activities, so that you do not over book or schedule too many things back to back.
  4.  Write out a task list, with follow up dates.  Put these into your computer so you get automatic reminders.
  5.  Journal during times of stress (you really should journal all the time, but especially when you are stressed).   It is a GREAT way to get all of those thoughts that are swimming around in your head, down onto paper.  It takes some of the weight off of your shoulders. When you write things out, they don’t seem so bad. I promise.
  6. Look at your list of to-do’s and see if there are any items you can delegate or just take off completely for now.  Is there anything that could wait until later, or that actually isn’t that important now that you think about it?
  7. Exercise and eat healthy.  Wow, surprise huh?  You’ve never heard that before.  But seriously, when you are stressed, you are much more likely to get sick and worn down.  Take care of yourself even when you don’t think you have time.  You have to MAKE time to take care of your body, or you really won’t be able to get anything accomplished.
  8. Most importantly, pray and talk to God.  Just this morning I started getting overwhelmed, so I talked to God about it and he told me to take a deep breath, slow down, and relax.  That it would all get done, and not to worry.  I sure am glad I get to talk to Him.  He always knows what to say. 

God reminded me of this verse “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”  Phil 4:13.  That is one of my favorite verses and it always helps me get through tough times. 

Just remember we were never intended to carry big burdens, and I’ve found nowhere in the Bible where it says to “feel stressed”.  In fact, the Bible tells us the opposite.  It tells us to “not worry”, “not be afraid” and to “trust God”.  If you do all of those things, stress will dissipate. 

But just try to remember to be realistic with your time, with your abilities, with your energy, and with what is most important.  And always look to God for strength and peace.