How to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy In Spite of this World's Hatred and Violence

Photo Credit: NY Times Magazine
Link To NY Times Article

I was having a conversation the other day with some girlfriends and we were sharing how disgusting it is too see all of this hatred going in our world today. Watching the constant media coverage and seeing all of the  acts of violence can literally take a toll on you mentally if you're not careful. I have to admit that I have had to limit my time watching the news and reading the articles, because it can cause me to become a bit anxiousness and extremely angry . As I begin to think about it and after having a conversation with my friend, I know there are many others who feel the same way we do about the times we live in. Events like what happened in Charlottesville can cause extreme stress and anxiety for anyone. The question is how do you stay focused and stay sane in-spite of the terrible incidents around us? I would like to share with you 5 intentional lifestyle strategies you can apply immediately to help you stay mentally, physically, and spiritually well during these difficult times.   

Pray & Meditate.
It's time to pray like never before for our country, our government, and our world. Pray is what's going to keep us mentally and spiritually strong. If you think we can handle this on our own, you are sadly mistaken. Prayer gives us hope in-spite of  what we seeing going on around us. We can't loose faith and hope in God, because if we loose faith what else do we have to hold on too. Love will always prevail over hate. If you remain in prayer and meditate on God's word you will have the power to get through these tough times.

Learn to Unplug. 
Sometimes we just have to walk away from it all and turn off all the chatter. It would be impossible to constantly watch the news, read the political commentary and not become angry with what you see. Make a decision to unplug, turn off the phone and the social media alerts. When you unplug this will give you the opportunity to take time to reflect, think, write or just have quite time for yourself. Don't let what's going on weigh you down, because that will depress anybody. 

Eat foods that will boost your mood and energy 
With everything going on right now it can cause your emotions to go in the dumps. There are certain foods you can eat to help boost your mood and your energy. Salmon- which is a energy boosting food because it has Omega 3 fatty acids which is important for energy production and brain activity. Coconut - Coconut oil is a great source of energy and has healthy fats which helps give you energy quickly.  Lentils- which has a rich source of protein and naturally rich in vitamin B which increase energy and mood. Ginger Tea- Forget the coffee and grab the tea instead which has antioxidants and nutrients that will give you that boost without the caffeine consequences. 

Join a small group or volunteer. 
When you take the time to give and show love to others you will always be healthier than those who operate in hate. If you are surrounded by like minded individuals who have purpose and drive or who takes the time to give to others, you will not only decrease stress but you will have a sense of peace. My husband and I recently had a chance to volunteer at Jacksonville Beach Mission House and it was an absolutely amazing experience. Being able to minister to the people there and share our love and to support to them was so powerful. It also made us more grateful for the life God has blessed us with, and to appreciate the little things we sometimes my take for granted. 

Take the time journal. 
It is always beneficial to journal and reflect your feeling and thoughts on paper. Holding on to feelings of anger, regret and bitterness is like a cancer that eats away at your body. The more you get your feeling out in a healthy way the better you will feel. When you harbor feelings it can negatively impact your health. Not only does it cause stress but it also raise your blood pressure, cause headaches and cause stomach ulcers. Don't become a victim of disease because you're not willing to share your feelings and get things off your heart. 

The reality is the wake of violence and racism can take a toll on us all, but its all depends on how you response and how you handle it. There will always be violence and racism as long as we live, but don't let it effect your mental, physical or spiritual health. We must also have positive conversations with our children and so they too can share their feelings and thoughts. We have to continue to operate in love and not hate because love will win every time.    

  "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." 
     Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Priscilla Q. Williams, RN

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