Stress surrounds us, but it is what we keep that hurts us.

We have been quarantined or restricted from what used to be our normal lifestyle. It is frustrating and irritating at times. We get stressed, even being at home all day. Stress is a major cause of future disease. Release stress daily and LET IT GO!

Stress affects our minds and bodies. When we do not manage our stress, the body loses its ability to regulate the inflammation. Chronic low-level cellular inflammation is the cause of nearly every disease known to man. If we cannot control inflammation, expect a health impairment in the future!

We are facing coronavirus with lethal ramifications for those with high-risk pre-existing conditions. Our immune system is our first line of defense to protect ourselves against this virus and others, like the common cold and others.

Why do we hang on to stress? Maybe because it feels good to us. It is what we have always done. We do not know any better. We do not know what that stress is or will do to our bodies over time.

Assume that someone did something to you and you did not like it. For example, a person ahead of you in line at the grocery store takes more time than is expected. You might get a little miffed. You might get more than that if you were in a hurry.

If you do not know that person and will probably never see him or her again in the future, the stress is temporary and usually not held long. If that person was someone you know, then the temporary state of stress builds and stays with you until you release it.

Many years ago, I went to a function at a local church because of the person speaking. One of his presentations was for us to write the name of five people on the palm of our hands using our index finger. We were to look at those names and remember why we did not like them.

Then, he said, lift your hands high and release all those names into space above us. Get them off your hands. Get them out of your mind. I did this short exercise and did not think much of it until a couple of weeks later.

My wife’s boss did something to her at work and it irritated me. The stress did not happen directly to me, but it was transferred because it hurt someone I love. I saw her boss a few times after this happened and I could feel, literally feel, animosity towards her.

We attended an event a short while after I let go of my five names (my wife’s boss’s name was on that list). I saw my wife’s boss and realized almost instantly that I did not have an ill-feeling. I was unfeeling towards her. No positive or negative images or feelings permeated my brain. I could not believe it.

Later that day, we met my wife’s boss and her husband in a more social setting. and I was kind and respectful to her. My feelings did not play a part in my emotional or psychological state in those conversations.

I have since done this exercise a few more times over the years. Almost four years ago, I did my first LET IT GO Tour by walking the Camino de Santiago with my wife. We practiced for a year to be able to walk 500 miles in 30 days in Spain.

We arrived with more than a few stresses from the uncertain trip over. We flew military space available to Spain. There were more than a couple of days waiting at the air terminal and told that the flight was full, and we would have to come back later. The logistics getting there was interesting and exhausting.

I started on Day 1 in St. Jean Pied de Port, France. I told my wife that no matter what happened on this trek, I was not going to allow it to stress me. I was going to, LET IT GO! Several times a day, both of us would say, “LET IT GO!” out loud. It became our mantra.

Over time, it began to work. We changed our flexible schedule to reduce some uncertainty along the walk and things improved after four or five days. By ten days into this journey, I was good about not letting anything bother me.

It is not the stress that is important. It is what we do with it when we receive that stress. If we allow it to linger in our bodies, we will increase our risk of anxiety, depression, mood swings, and more. It is not healthy.

We choose to keep stress in our minds. We can choose to let it go also. The best way to remove stress is to remove ourselves from the stressor. If you cannot get away from the person/thing causing the stress, then allow it to seep (or explode) out from your body at the first opportunity.

I find driving behind an uncaring driver that a simple laugh (out loud) is enough to remove that temporary stressor. The same applies in line at the grocery store. I look at the person irritating me and give them a big smile – a genuine smile! The stress evaporates instantly.

We will be coming out of the pandemic induced lifestyle shortly. Do not hang on this thing or that thing or that person who introduced new stress in your life. Get rid of it now. LET IT GO today and tomorrow and the next day.

The reward for surviving the pandemic is to live a good healthy life. We have control over those things we wish to hang on to. We cannot allow our immune systems to degrade because of hanging on to the daily stresses in our lives.


Life Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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