Healthy Tomorrow


This week’s online bible study on Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles, hosted by Melissa Taylor,  has the online bible study group reading the chapter titled “The Silent Killer”.  In this chapter, Tracie shared a study she read that stated that “stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and other illnesses, Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. “

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, I began searching for answers as to why I got cancer when I had no other risk factors besides being Caucasian.  Stress kept popping up in many of the articles and studies that I came across. Just this past February, I wrote a blog where I mentioned my realization about reducing stress and the benefits of giving thanks and trusting in God instead of stressing. Read that article here.

God’s timing is perfect.  I “happened” to come across this bible study that is dealing with stress.  It is taking me further into reducing my stress and I love that she is incorporating scriptures where God is speaking to us about reducing stress as well.

Each Thursday Melissa hosts a blog hop and suggests a few topics to blog about.  I chose Healthy Tomorrow as my topic. There were so many other topics I could have chosen to discuss from my blessings (which I can never be done talking about!) to parenting to verse mapping (which I LOVE to do!). But I feel like I am learning so much about good health and its affects on our body that I love being able to tie in what God says about this topic as well.  Tracie asks us to talk about what choices we need to make, or have already made to deal with stress.

Our reflection verse this week is Isaiah 30: 15. I loved the Complete Jewish Bible version: 
15 For this is what Adonai Elohim,
the Holy One of Isra’el, says:
“Returning and resting is what will save you;
calmness and confidence will make you strong —
but you want none of this!

Funny, as in  “I’ve never noticed this before kind of way funny", that God is telling us that resting will save us and calmness will make us strong!…. And He goes on to say, “but you want none of this!”  We all know that stress is a killer, or many of us do anyway, yet we choose to do nothing about it!  We accept stress as being a part of our lives today!  As Tracie Miles points out in her book, stress is a chronic disease yet we accept it as normal! Cancer is a disease too, but how many of us would just accept this as something we have to live with and refuse treatment?  So why do we do it with stress?

I have begun working on de-stressing in my life.  I’ve made some large life-changing decisions, which I’ve discovered bring their own stress levels into the picture. I’ve begun to eat healthier and make other healthy choices in my life too. I know the choices I’ve made are for the better, but I also feel there is more I can do. When given the challenge to talk about the choices we can make or have already made, immediately one word came to my mind. Typically anytime something comes that quickly to mind, God is behind it.  So let me share with you the challenge I feel God is quickening to my spirit to aid in stressing less and becoming healthier.  It sounds so easy, yet for me is rare these days...  Laughter.  Simple right? Yet, I can’t tell you the last time I laughed out loud.  I’ve smiled, I’ve chuckled, but it’s been years since I’ve had a good laugh.

Proverbs 17:22 says: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

According to the Mayo ClinicA good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally; it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
  • ·      Stimulate many organs.
  • ·      Activate and relieve your stress response
  • ·      Soothe tension

Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may
  • ·      Improve your immune system.
  • ·      Relieve pain.
  • ·      Increase personal satisfaction.”

Laughter has also been shown to have beneficial effects on various other aspects of biochemistry. For example, laughter has been shown to lead to reductions in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. When laughing the brain also releases endorphins that can relieve some physical pain.[19] Laughter also boosts the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T-cells, leading to a stronger immune system [20



Who knew?  Information is great!  We know that laughter is good medicine. Now, how do we make ourselves laugh?

Lord, I thank you for allowing me to "stumble" across this online bible study that is challenging me in many ways, to de-stress and to laugh more. Simple things that are not done so simply, yet Your word tells us to rest and to have a joyful heart.  I praise you that you take care of us both spiritually and physically. Lord, you desire us to have a fruitful and joyful life here on earth. This just gives me glimpses into what heaven must be like. Father, send whom you will into my life to aid in teaching me how to laugh again. I thank you and look forward to where you are taking me in this lesson to de-stress.  What a wonderful God we serve!


19^
 "Why Laughter May Be the Best Pain Killer". Scientific American. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
20^ a b Smith Lee, B. (1990). Humor relations for nurse managers. Nursing Management, 21, 86

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing!!! Laughter is great medicine :) I pray that you have good luck on your de-stressing journey, and have days filled with laughter!!! :)

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  2. My mother also found humor, peace, and rest as she recovered from the removal of her breast. Mom, always a go-go-go woman, filled with worry, and never at peacel, changed in the hospital. She said that she realized that she needed to enjoy whatever time was given her. She did. She read books and laughed. She saw movies. She swam daily. She bought even more shoes! She babysat for me, and led my young son into messy fun stuff.

    She and Dad spent hours on the golf course. They found good friends. They lived and loved. Mom said she was blessed by the cancer and the gift of life it provided. She also said she was so sorry that she had spent so much time in worry.

    Mom lived, and I mean she lived, for the next 6 years until she had a totally unrelated drug reaction that ended her earthly life.

    Mom passed away 21 years ago. My "young son" will be a father soon. I need to remember to laugh and enjoy. Thanks for your lesson and the memories it brought forth. I pray that you continue to laugh and enjoy this next phase of your life.

    I have to go now and plan for some messes to get into with my own to soon to arrive, grand daughter!

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  3. Love this!!! I truly believe laughter is the best medicine. Praying for you. Praying God blesses you so much that your sides ache from laughing & rejoicing in His goodness!

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  4. Love our insghton all of this, and I so agre laughter is so vital in our lives. It s essential. I believe that Gd will bless y on this journey ! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thanks for sharing all your insights. Laughter is so vtal in todays society and culture. be blessed on your journey!

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  6. What a great reminder to just "laugh". Such a simple stress reliever! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. LOVED THIS! I had thyroid cancer 10 years ago and I truly believe that it was stress related and praise God for healing me. God has a sense of humor and I agree with you, laughter is a great stress reliever and is so beneficial for us. The Complete Jewish Bible is one of my two favorite versions, the other is the Amplified Version, thank you for sharing that.
    Good for you for working on de-stressing your life, is critical to do so for our well being and something I'm working on as well.
    Thank you for sharing this, your blog really blessed me and I'm going to share it as I have a few friends who will benefit from reading this.
    God bless you!

    Robin-OBS Leader

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