Sunday, December 18, 2011

Peace - a gift you give yourself

It’s that time of year again...when temperatures drop and germs are passed around like juicy gossip. Meanwhile, the business year is coming to a close as the holiday season kicks into full swing. The world goes insane, while we sing songs about peace and good cheer, through gritted teeth. Although to some it may very well be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the most stressful time of the year.

I have heard some people claim that they thrive on stress, but that is a misuse of the word “thrive”. It has been proven that stress has negative effects on the circulatory system, the digestive system and the immune system. When the immune system is repressed and taxed, it is more difficult for the body to defend itself from infection, and we all know that rest is necessary for healing. Though we all have different ways of coping with stress, the majority of them seem to incorporate an element of excess or overindulgence. Stress appears, and we react by trying to pretend it is not there; we sometimes create more stress to keep it company; or we might attempt to smother it with alcohol, medication, food or even shopping. For a time, some of these coping techniques may work (though they often create more potentially stressful situations in the process), that is, until our health begins to suffer.

It’s the most inconvenient time of the year to get sick. It is a stress compounder, yet illness, whether acute or the common cold, forces us to be present. It pulls us out of our head - where we do all that managing, avoiding, or burying of stress - and back into our bodies. It insists that we attend to our physical needs in a ways we often do not or will not, especially our need for rest and peace…

This year, let’s do more than just sing songs about peace. It is the best Holiday gift you can give yourself, and your body will thank you!