Monday, June 26, 2006

Law # 8 ~ Stress & Sleep

Stressed-out, sleep-deprived people don’t eat right and exercise regularly. Stress depletes energy, strength, and desire; while poor sleep habits affect your moods and immune function along with cognitive and motor performance. Burning the candle at both ends makes it impossible to be fit and healthy.

Do you realize that if you took the fear and anxiety out of every “stressful” situation in life, the end result of that situation would greatly improve? You can panic and freak out all you want, but time will still pass and life will happen, whether you stress out about it or not. So why not choose patience or curiosity? Patience is a virtue, and who wouldn’t want to be virtuous in a stressful situation? To be curious means asking the right questions to help find solutions. When does fear, worry, or anxiety ever help a situation? Stress occurs when we are incapable of moving through a situation logically, peacefully, positively, productively, and gracefully. To be stressed out takes a lot of energy. Allowing stress to overtake you means you’re having a tough time dealing with reality. Don’t let stress be your scapegoat. Stand up, take a deep breath, and see if you can deal with reality under pressure.

I like the parable about 10 people standing in line at a bank. Three robbers come storming in screaming, yelling, and waving guns around. They terrorize the place and steal everyone’s jewelry and money. What’s the moral of the story? Ten people experiencing the same event will have very different reactions to it. Some will never recover, while others will have a crazy story to tell at cocktail parties. How do you respond to the events in your life?

I like Byron Katie’s 3 Kinds of Business Theory.

1. God’s Business: The things that happen in this world that are out of my control.

2. Their Business: The choices other people make based on their life experiences so far.

3. My Business: The choices I make that shape my life.

Don’t waist your time on gossip, ridicule, envy, self-pity, anger, guilt, arrogance, impatience, regret, manipulation, jealousy, fear, worry, and anxiety. It’s too stressful, and it destroys the energy you need to stay healthy and fit. If you choose understanding, truth, clarity, patience, devotion, gratitude, acceptance, wisdom, and forgiveness you will have peace of mind and all the energy in the world to do what ever you want.

Sleep does more than make you feel rested. Two recent studies with healthy volunteers demonstrated suppression of immunological function after one night of modest sleep deprivation. The activity of certain white blood cells and the production of chemicals essential for immune system performance significantly decreased. After a good night’s sleep, most immune functions went back to baseline levels. About 40% of adults experience sleepiness that interferes with daily activities. Most U.S. adults get less than seven hours of sleep per night during the workweek, while research has determined that certain parameters of immune function are enhanced by more than seven hours of sleep.

Another study showed that the leading cause of traffic accidents in this country is NOT alcohol, but sleep deprivation. If you don’t have enough energy to stay awake to drive your car, how will you have enough energy for a six-day-a-week workout plan? We’re not sleeping enough hours, and the limited time we spend trying to sleep is filled with so much mind chatter that we never get the rest we need. My New Collegiate Merriam-Webster English Dictionary defines sleep as follows: the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. In the Taoist philosophy there’s a belief in yin and yang energies. These are opposing energies that create balance. Exercise is yang energy. Sleep and rest is yin energy. There must be proper balance between vim and vigor (yang) and inward calm (yin). If you don’t get enough sound sleep, your body will NOT receive the proper restoration it needs to complete or succeed with any fitness program. So TiVo American Idol and go to bed!


Cliff said...

This is all so well said. I struggle with all of these things in my own life but make it appear so easy to grasp. Thanks for the inspiration.

AlfaSunshine said...

I love sleep. And I went to a seminar a couple of years ago were some very friendly fellow agents gave me the best advise I am still working on taking to heart:

S top
T aking
R eal
E state
S o
S eriously

I am learning more and more about abundance and prosperity and bliss and I am loving life! Going to Seattle next week and will see my agent friends again. I am going to be SOOO blessed.

Jason said...

Just a quick note about Sleep Deprivation. I currently work in the medical field, and while I was in school were were trained on taking a persons vital signs(blood pressure, heart rate, temp,etc) The first day that we were training, I had not slept the night before(I worked an overnight shift at my job) so I had been up for about 25-30 hours. My blood pressure was abnormally high, my heart rate was very high(like 90-100) and I had a slight fever(about 100 degrees) The next week, I arrived to class fully rested and all my vitals were all normal. Just shows you how lack of sleep can affect your body even if you don't realize it.

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