Weather The Storm
Life can be unpredictable. Despite the best-laid plans and precautions, external events can hurl your life into chaos. Family tragedies, job losses, unexpected upheavals, and natural disasters can completely upend the balance, stability, and normalcy of your daily routine. To make matters worse, traumatic events can generate an enormous amount of stress, anxiety, fear, and worry. It can be challenging enough to make it through the day when external conditions are stable, but coping with a large-scale crisis can feel nearly impossible.
What can you do when such situations topple your equilibrium? First you need to try to remain calm, clearly identify and plan what needs to be done, and put your attention on those items or issues that are in most urgent need of resolution. Focus on the biggest problems first. Don’t be concerned about the little things at this stage.
Be present and aware of what’s happening. During a traumatic experience, the shock of the situation can trigger an extreme activation of the fight-or-flight response causing you to freeze in fear. Oftentimes you’re caught so unaware that you are literally unable to process what’s happening. If this happens, the most important reminder is simply to breathe.
Practice Meditation. Meditation is one of the best tools to cultivate a calm and present moment’s awareness during traumatic and challenging times. As often as conditions allow during the chaos, find time to settle your mind in meditation.
Get adequate rest-and-recovery time. Once the initial trauma has passed, don’t automatically assume that life will return to normal overnight. Traumatic events can have a lasting effect and it may take several days, weeks, months, or longer to recover from them.
Remember the real you who never changes. During the chaos and turbulence, it is helpful to remember your true identity. When you’re caught up in the heights of worry and anxiety, it can be easy to lose yourself in the emotions and drama of a traumatic event.
Detach and embrace uncertainty. Traumatic events can tear at the very fabric of your life. Chaos reigns and it feels as if stability will never return. In such times you may be unable to fight the reality of what is, and trying to do so often wastes valuable energy. Now is a profound opportunity to practice detachment from how you think things should be.
Trust that it will pass. Try to remember how other challenging situations in your past may have felt endless when they were taking place, but with hindsight you can see that you made it through—you survived. Things got better and the situation passed. All that has a beginning must ultimately have an end.
“We have all the ability to change perspective, create clarity and generate calm over any issue there is at hand – be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. Unfortunately we do not always see these wonderful abilities at our disposal”.
“Creating Positive Change today makes for a better tomorrow”
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Jesus – The I Am
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” – (John 6:35).
Today, more than ever, believers have a responsibility to know what they believe and why they believe it. They are being called to sort through subtle deception, which often comes under the guise of Christianity.
In this day of half-truths, it is important to know what Jesus had to say about Himself. When we focus on the truth God provides through His Word, we will be well-equipped to discern the lies of the world. Whatever need you have, the “I Am” sayings of Jesus will encourage your heart.
Do you have a heart that longs to know God? Jesus is the One who will meet your need. Do you struggle with disappointment and frustration? The presence of Christ in your life will fill you up to overflowing with contentment and hope. Whatever your need, turn it over to Jesus. You will be amazed by His ability to feed and to provide for you.
During this time of giving there is no better gift you can give than the gift of Jesus Christ. His words to us reveal certain truths we need for personal spiritual growth.
Christmas time can be a very disheartening time of the year for some. It is my guess that those that do struggle during this time of the year do not have Christ in their life. This year give the gift of life, give Jesus Christ. It is the gift that will never stop giving.
December reflection – “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”(Matthew 28:19)
How Stress Can Mess With Your Health?
Stress is a natural response to the experiences we encounter in our lives, triggering a range of physical and mental reactions that help our bodies initiate what’s known as a “fight-or-flight” response to potentially dangerous situations. It can also mess with our health in a number of different ways such as:
- Central Nervous System Damage – Your brain and nervous system are the central components of the body’s fight-of-flight response. The CNS tells the body what to do and coordinates the body systems, limiting blood and oxygen flow to the less important systems, like digestion, while re-routing blood and oxygen flow to the more vital systems, such as the brain and cardiovascular system. When your stressor doesn’t go away after the short-lived rewiring, the CNS fails to tell the body to return its systems to normal. This can eventually cause the CNS to rewire the body, causing chronic anxiety, irritability, and even depression.
- Cardiovascular Wear and Tear – In addition to the CNS, your cardiovascular system is hit just as hard by chronic stress. The same hormones that are released by the body to initiate the fight-or-flight response cause the heart to pump faster and harder. The blood vessels constrict to raise blood pressure, which helps the body more efficiently deliver oxygen to the brain and heart to increase strength and energy to decide on a response and take action. When you expose your body to long periods of stress, the heart becomes taxed, and your blood pressure becomes elevated as the blood vessels become damaged. This damage presents an increased risk for heart disease and related problems, including heart attack and stroke.
- Digestive Disaster – When the body is stressed, the liver produces and releases surplus blood sugar to give the body the extra boost it needs to react to a dangerous situation. The unused glucose is then reabsorbed by the body. In short bursts, this system is efficient and helps you escape dangerous situations. When it happens on a regular basis, your body may not be able to handle all of the excess glucose, putting you at risk for developing Type II diabetes.
While stress may seem minor, it can have some major implications on the entire body. That’s why it’s important to get a handle on stress before it gets a handle on you.
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Healthy Recipe of the Month: Quick Corn Chowder
The new frozen super-sweet corn now widely available allows you to enjoy this soup throughout the year with minimal preparation time.
Yield: – 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 pound frozen super-sweet yellow or white corn
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup cashew milk
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or more to taste
- add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium -high heat. Add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent and beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add the frozen corn and stir to mix well. Add the vegetable broth, raise the heat to high, and bring to boil.
- Cover the pot, lower the heat, and boil gently for 5 minutes. Add the cashew milk, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook for another minute.
- Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. (You can do this in a regular blender, but let the soup cool first to avoid splashing hot liquid.)
- Heat the pureed chowder over low heat to desired serving temperature. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.To serve, top each bowl with a tablespoon of chopped chives or a swirl of chive-induced oil.
Nutritional Information: (Per Serving)
Calories 158, Fat 2.1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Saturated Fat .7g, Protein 4.5g, Dietary Fiber 3.2g, Carbohydrates 22.3g
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The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. You should not use the information available for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration unless specifically so stated. You should carefully read all product packaging information prior to use.