We learn in nursing school that there is a silent killer. That being hypertension (high blood pressure). Well I’m here to tell you that while hypertension is a silent killer, in my book called “Claire’s Book of Life”, stress and worrying are the silent killers.
I don’t know about you all, but I am naturally a freaking worrier. I wish that wasn’t a trait I ended up with… but it is. Whether it be worrying about a nursing exam, worrying about where I’m going to end up after I graduate, worrying/stressing about how/when/where I’m going to meet my future spouse, stressing out about every task I tell myself I need to get done, stressing about deadlines that creep up on you, stressing about the pimple that just popped up over night, stressing about money… the list could go on and on.
I am the sole definition of a worry wart. Not to the point where it paralyzes me (thank God for that), but it’s just enough where it does impact my life in a negative way.
When we allow ourselves to be worried, we are stressed. When we are stressed, our bodies naturally release cortisol (a hormone). When we stress in excess, this makes us susceptible to sickness and actually shortens your life span. Hence the silent killers.
Whenever I learned this, I was determined to figure out how the heck to make myself get in a habit of calming myself down when I can tell I’m getting into that panicky-stressed out state. Nursing school definitely hasn’t helped for the past year and a half, but hey. I’m almost through it.
Are ya ready for what’s helped me?
- Reading the Bible – This also goes along with praying. The Bible gives me encouragement, builds me up, humbles me, and puts me into the right perspective. I always think of the verses that say, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27 NIV). The answer is no. I want to live by this daily and constantly remind myself of this. Instead of worrying about that extra hour that could’ve been spent studying for my nursing exam or worrying about the next step before it’s even here, I want to live more in the Word, not let circumstances take me over, and acknowledge this truth God gives us.
- Going to the gym – You always hear people say going to the gym helps when you’re stressed. I never believed it or understood why that would help until I began going. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been with managing my stress. I feel more calm because I’m able to get that negative energy out. All-in-all, it’s obviously just great for you. I feel more confident and well rounded.
- Diffusing/applying essential oils – Oh my gosh, essential oils are a game changer. Love the relaxation and calming support they give my body! I used to be such a skeptic and think it was a bunch of hocus pocus… now I’m a complete addict.
- Breathing – Okay, now this sounds funny. But seriously. Taking some deep breaths. I started doing this when I got an Apple Watch because it reminds you. It got me in the habit of realizing when I haven’t really taken a good, deep breath.
- Eating some comfort food – There really is something about baking some brownies, sitting on your couch, and just watching a good show. Which brings me to my next point.
- Taking time for yourself – WHATEVER that may be for you! For me, it’s watching Netflix to just let myself relax. It’s singing and playing guitar. It’s reading a good personal development book. It’s shopping. It’s hiking. It’s going on a little road trip and blasting some music.
Do not worry about anything instead pray about everything. (Phillipians 4:6 NIV)
We can not add a single hour, a single minute, or a single second to our lives… Instead of wasting those precious moments worrying or stressing about things that are out of our control, I choose to kill the silent killers and pray instead. He is in control. And it’s my daily prayer to be more trusting in God that he does and will take care of me, even more so than the birds.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)