A recent Gallop Poll showed that 80% of Americans are reporting that they are stressed (1). The CDC reports that 110 million people die each year as a direct result of stress (2). The NIH says that continued strain on your body from routine stress can lead to: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder and other illnesses (2).
Science has also proven that a respite has many benefits including: more energy, reduction in inflammation, better sleep, increased creativity, improved memory, more focus and productivity. Conclusions were drawn that without regular respite and nighttime sleep, incapacitating burnout was eminent (3).
One of the main reasons cited for all of this stress was lack of time. If we fail to plan for a daily respite, our health may fail. We need to "live with intention." You may wonder where to find the extra time for a respite. You probably won't like this answer, but it involves going to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal. You can then plan on getting up 30 minutes earlier. You will not only have 10 to 15 minutes for a wonderful respite, you will have time to spare for getting ready for the day. This alone will help alleviate some stress.
I would like to share my personal recipe for enjoying a respite. I have my own personal space, set apart just for this purpose. All electronics are off! Yikes! I know this is a lifestyle change, but you'll thank me later!
Step 1: Ponder a Power-Thought. For example, I love the Scripture: "She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future." (Proverbs 31:25) I will ponder and meditate on this Scripture for a few minutes. I occasionally try to memorize the power-thought. With continued focus on the thought, you strengthen connections in your brain. Pathways start to form that allow you to recall this thought quicker and more easily with time (4).
As a neural pathway is formed in our brains, we start to believe it. It becomes a part of who we are. This is transformation in action. This is how we replace stress with wholeness.
Step 2: Personalize your Power-Thought. My next step involves personalizing the power-thought. For example, this is how I would personalize the Scripture above: "I am strong and dignified. I laugh with ease and anticipate a peace-filled future!" You can also insert your name. The Scripture becomes very personal when you try this!
I often pray for God to reveal His wisdom to me regarding what I'm meditating on. Each Scripture is so rich with wisdom. Even when I have read the same one over many years, I can read it again and obtain a fresh revelation.
After my respite is finished, I then display the personalized power-thought. Sometimes I will print out my picture with the Scripture next to my photo. This helps transform my mind (Romans 12:2).
To speed up the transformation process, start speaking your power-thought out loud. There is the power of life and death in the spoken word. As I mentioned in my September 21, 2018 Blog, the scientist, Masaru Emoto conducted some fascinating experiments that showed the power of words (5). Speak words of life!
To transform from a person of stress and ill health to a peaceful and healthy one, seek a time of respite daily. Remember to: ponder and personalize your power-thought, display it around your home and place of work, and finally, speak your power-thought out loud. You will be the beneficiary of blessings!
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I'd like to leave you with an amazing power-thought that you can use in your first respite:
"My daughter, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to My Words. Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart; for they are LIFE to those who find them and HEALTH to one's WHOLE BODY." (Proverbs 4:20-22)
You can hear my recorded interview on this topic with April on "Queens Stand Up" blog radio by logging on to: QueensStandUp.com.