Saturday, January 15, 2011

The New Year, Blogging And Reducing Stress

My New Year started out with sad news. When you get disappointing news, the first day of the year, as I did, it makes you wonder what kind of year it will be. I was annoyed that I had to get this news half way into the first day of the new year, over brunch, no less. Oh well....people are dealing with greater problems and sadly, tragedies and so I always try to keep things in perspective. Problems are a part of life and my faith always helps me deal with everything.
At the end of December, I made a short video of myself teaching prayer that I thought about putting up on my blog. I figured it would be a good way to introduce myself to the people who read my blog. I thought it was pretty good, especially when at the end, when I tried to stop the recording, (and didn't know how), I started calling for my sons to come into the room to stop it. That was the best part. It was the first time I tried to make a video of myself and the whole experience was rather funny. I was advised by family members not to place it on my blog. They didn't think it would be a good idea. Perhaps I'll revisit that idea in the future.
How do you keep sane in this sometimes chaotic, anxiety-filled, uncertain modern world we live in, when sad or tragic news is sometimes a phone call or e-mail away? Hopefully, you will get mostly good news in your life and you've found ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Stress is detrimental to good health. Life can by trying, at times. But as I've written over and over again, prayer, faith, a relationship with God and striving for peace in this world is so very important in order to stay spiritually, physically and mentally fit. Exercise is the number one stress reducer and a sure way to increase longevity, according to medical experts. Prayer and meditation (Christian meditation for Christians), is another way to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and according to an article I read this morning, it helps reduce the chances of heart attacks and strokes. It's free, no pills to take or pay for and all you have to do is find a quiet place and some time to reflect and unwind. I always begin with a mindful Sign of the Cross. I close my eyes and repeat the name of Jesus, silently or softly (it's called the Holy Name of Jesus prayer). You breathe deeply and evenly in the name of Jesus (through your nose) and breathe out one of the titles of Jesus (Savior, Redeemer, etc.). You keep doing that until you've calmed your mind, relaxed and entered a peaceful, meditative state. It's such a beneficial prayer, the name of Jesus is powerful, as you know and so it can help on many levels. I always end with an "Our Father."
According to Dr. Paul Moulinie, Director of the Center for Complementary Care at Huntington Hospital on Long Island, N.Y., "We must look for ways to experience the peace and tranquility that is inherent in all of us, and not become victims of the noise and stress all around....Not only does meditation promise to improve health and quality of life, it carries the hope of knocking cardiovascular disease off as the number one cause of death among Americans" (Healthy Living Digest-Anton Community Newspapers-1/11).
Good advice for the New Year.