Monday, August 22, 2011

Joy, Stress & The law of Esprit!

"The single overriding objective in wellness is creating constant personal renewal where we recognize and act on the truth that each day is a miraculous gift and our job is to untie the ribbons." 
- Greg Anderson, The 22 Non-negotiable Laws of Wellness.  

The principal of the law of Esprit or the law of JOY is a biblical one that Doctors, authors, wellness coaches and SO many people have caught on to. Wellness and health start with your heart and your joy. When you cultivate the fruit of Joy in your life, you will slam the door on stress. (the following thoughts are based on Don Colbert's talk at my church) 

Joy is different than happiness. Joy is internal fulfillment, happiness is based on external circumstances. We can fall into happiness traps like money, materialism, substances (food included!) and even relationships. Round and round we go, looking for joy in these happiness traps and never realize what it takes to cultivate joy. 

Cultivate JOY? 
Yes... Joy is a fruit in our lives. Where does fruit come from? From seeds of course and when you plant a seed you have to cultivate it: water it, give it light, prune it, protect it and then...harvest. 

1) Thankfulness. Being thankful for ALL things plants seeds of JOY. How can we be thankful in all you ask. Well, I am not saying we should go around being thankful for bad things that come into our lives, but when those bad things do cross our paths, we can focus on ALL the good! When I am having a bad day, when things go wrong and do they ever, I will just start listing things I am thankful for, starting with my health, my body which works the way it should, my salvation, my family, my bike. The simple things, by the time I am done, I feel better and I have planted a very important seed of Joy. 

2) KINDNESS. Yes, even when people are mean, when they do you wrong, when they dump you, when they don't listen, when they are stubborn, when they are self-centered. Anyone know anyone LIKE THAT? (other than ourselves...I know). 
We will encounter people like this, chances are we work with them or live with them. Chances are we are them too. So, meet these harsh  attributes with kindness, NOT offense. The bible tells us to be SLOW to be offended.  Seek for a common ground, seek to understand, seek to be kind and you will plant a seed of JOY for both parties. 

3) ALL you amazing readers know over and over I talk about mind set. But it's so important, we want to focus on positive thoughts, focus on the SOLUTION to our problems, we want to be sure that what we BELIEVE or think and DO are in Harmony. I love the quote above, but wish is used JOY instead of Happiness. Think positive, Do positive, Pass on positive and you will plant the seeds of JOY. 

JOY combats stress.  
Deadly emotions and worry can not coexist within our hearts and minds when we are cultivating the fruit of JOY. 

Stress on our bodies come in many forms and the body doesn't differentiate between WHAT the source is. A killer workout at the gym, a hard day at the office or fight with your BFF, worry about your marriage or your body fighting off a cold are all sources of stress. Your body will send cortisol to combat stress on a first come, first serve basis... 


Cortisol has been termed the "stress hormone" because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress....Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips. This fat deposition has been referred to as "toxic fat" since abdominal fat deposition is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes.

So when you need that cortisol to function properly and help with your metabolism, infection and TRUE stress, fighting psychological stress or worry will prevent it from going where it should first. How to combat that psychological stress or worry?? 

Cultivate JOY around you. 
Plant your own garden and don't wait for someone to bring 

Water your JOY, give it sunshine, give it away and it will come back and fill your garden and the bright beautiful 
blooms will push stress and worry away. 

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