female_blacksmithYou always hear about how stress is bad for you; it can make you sick, fat and even kill you. That’s true: but only when stress is chronic, or you suffer one stress after another without relief.

There is another type of stress- short term; and that can actually help your physical body, and even improve your mood and brain.

“The things that don’t kill you make you strong” Frederick Nietzsche

To strengthen and harden metal, it is by put it in a fire and then beaten- It’s “tempered” and much stronger than it’s original form. Think of a blacksmith heating and pounding the hell out of a sword..

It’s the same with your body. If all you do is sit in a chair all day, and rarely get up, or exercise, you are actually weakening. Every day that you are getting older, and doing less, you are essentially going backwards in your fitness. So going out and exercising may be stressful for you. It can even hurt.

In fact, that’s what happens when you do strenuous exercise: you get tiny tears in the muscle fibers. But that’s why you can rest, or do a different activity the following day- give yourself time to repair- and get stronger!

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

All growth comes when you push yourself out of the area known as your comfort zone. If you stay where you are, you are stagnant- and the world keeps moving forward, so you are actually going backwards!

New research says, in order to keep your brain functioning well and avoid dementia, you must not just think about the same things you do all the time, but CHALLENGE yourself. Learn a new language, take up a different activity that necessitates your making new connections in your brain. Use it or lose it, they say.

And now I’ll end with the concept of dieting. If you always eat small meals (if you are on a chronic diet- VERY bad!!) your body has gotten used to receiving a reduced amount of food. And as with other areas of your life that need to be stretched, once in a while you NEED to stretch your stomach. You metabolism gets slow because it doesn’t need to work hard. So have that cake- eat a good holiday meal. ENJOY the food that you eat, and thank your body for being able to learn to accommodate more food. You don’t have to do this all the time- but you DO need to give yourself a good stretch once in a while, so you don’t get feeble and become unable to handle different foods!

That’s how life works- if you’re standing still, your actually going backwards. So get up, and get out of your comfort zone – and make stress work for you to make you stronger and more resilient.

What have you done to get out of your comfort zone lately?

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