Three weeks ago, I left on vacation. My wife and I went to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We visited family on the way there and the return. Vacation is not the worst thing you can do. It might be the best thing to do.
We work long and hard for many weeks straight. Sometimes the holidays allow us to catch a break and relax for a long weekend. But, it is a weekend and not an extended period of time.
Vacation is possibly the best stress reliever most of us have. We should have an active stress-relief program that we utilize daily. But, we don’t. We don’t make time for it. We don’t make time for a lot of things to help us improve ourselves.
Stress contributes to many diseases. Yet, relieving stress daily can negate many of these potential health problems. Heart disease is probably at the top of most health list relating to stress. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and other cardio-related health problems have a genesis in stress.
Asthma is exacerbated by stress. Obesity increases many health risks. Stress adds extra cortisol to the weight equation and it can be seen in the increased inches in our waists. Diabetes is worsened in two ways because of stress. It increases our tendency towards bad behaviors – excessive eating and drinking. As a result, our blood glucose levels increase and remain at unhealthy levels.
Some of us experience stress headaches. Tension headaches and migraines are related to stress. Depression and anxiety are connected many times to cumulative stress. Stress accumulates in our bodies and is not relieved by itself. We must take specific actions (daily) to remove it.
Many gastrointestinal problems result from stress. Heartburn is a common symptom of stress. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) are common in those with high chronic levels of stress.
Stress affects our brains in several ways. One is brain lesions that can result in Alzheimer’s disease and related mental disorders. We have all seen people who we know have aged prematurely because they have not managed stress in their lives. It is not uncommon to see people looking ten to twenty years older than they biologically are because the stress was never managed in their lives.
Early death is also common for those not controlling stress. Stress is insidious because it is not something we can feel when it happens. The best thing we can do is to remove ourselves from the stress-causing event (person, place, or thing).
One of the best things that happened to me was a weekend retreat I went to many years ago. The lecturer told us to think about those people in our lives who really irritated us just being in their presence. At that time, my wife was having a hard time at work because of her boss. I had immediate irritations every time I saw her boss.
The lecturer told us to write the name of each person we felt added stress to our lives on our left hand. We were to write the name of each person with our right index finger on our left palm. Once the list was completed, we were to throw our left hands up and release those names to the sky. I did that, as did everyone else. I didn’t expect much, but I played along.
Several days later I unexpectedly met my wife’s boss. She was at an event that I attended. I had not planned to see her there. But, I noticed immediately that I had no animosity towards her. I was neutral in many regards. It was very noticeable in my mind. I saw her again a couple of weeks later and my personal animus towards her was nearly zero.
We should control our stress daily. I use EFT (emotional freedom techniques) for stress relief. Use YouTube and type in EFT and Stress Relief. There are many good videos. I like Brad Yates’ video on many EFT actions. If you can’t relieve stress daily, take a day each week and consciously manage your stress.
When you do go on vacation, make it your “Let it Go!” vacation. No matter what happens along the way getting there or returning, let those little stresses along the way ‘go’ away. Let it go, it is not worth hanging on to it to tell the gang back home what really bothered your while you were relaxing.
Yes, I had a wonderful two weeks in Cuba. I was there two years ago for a two-week vacation. Before that, I was there before Castro came to power. I was a teenager and not aware of the world situation at the time. Enjoy your vacations and don’t let anyone steal your joy!