Hello all, Happy 2022! I know a lot of times we make plans for the new year, and rightfully so, but I think one of those plans must be rest.
I remember hearing a doctor say that rest is one of the most underrated forms of healing. When we rest, it allows our bodies to reset, it allows our immune system to power up, it actually detoxes our brains from things that have happened throughout the day. Rest also gives us strength, and my Afrikan people, I know we’ll be needing our strength more than ever. It may not be time to hit the gym, it may be time to rest and reset. I know rest also means sleep, but I’d like to introduce other forms of rest.
- Laughter – some may say “laughter?”, let me tell you, laughter is the hearts medicine, it actually says that in Proverbs 17:22. When we enjoy and laugh and celebrate, it allows our body to destress. I even notice when I laugh or socialize while eating meals, the food digests better. Our bodies need joy, the default emotion is joy. I have studied my body, and I know joy even has helped reduce symptoms of stress related body functions. Stress is actually a number one cause of weight gain in the gut, our body holds on to all these toxins because stress keeps our bodily functions lifeless. We often think of exercise and food when it comes to a healthy body, but laughter and enjoyment are just as important. That is why many people I have known who were in the best shape, but mentally not in shape, suffered from stress related issues (ie -stroke), because they never took time to enjoy. Laughter specifically loosens up build-up in the body, that is why sometimes when you laugh hard, you feel mucous loosening in the throat, and even tears from the eyes, your body is reacting to the joy! Mucous build up in the body is one of the number one causes of holding on to diseases in the respiratory system, it’s all related, friends! According to an article I read, stress as a cause of weight gain is a mix of hormonal and psychological factors. The body has a system of hormonal checks and balances that may actually promote weight gain when you’re stressed out. The “stress hormone” cortisol is released in the body during stressful times along with the epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones that trigger the “fight or flight” response to a perceived threat. Following the stressful event, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels return to normal while cortisol levels remain elevated over a longer time period. Cortisol levels can remain persistently elevated in the body when a person is subjected to chronic stress. What is the opposite of stress? Joy! I notice after a joyful day full of laughter, I sleep better. It is important to keep people around who make you laugh and smile, your body rests better when you are in the presence of laughter and joy, you get?
- Love – In line with laughter and joy, love is the best form of rest. Acts of love, with good intentions, can make the body rest in ways that exercise can’t. When love is present, the body feels safe, the body feels spiritually safe, and there’s not that lingering stress of worrying who is around you. I speak from spiritual perspectives as well, and let me tell you, the only time I’ve felt anxiety is when the people, places, or things around me were not good for me. I’m not talking about the anxiety you feel when you are about to perform your song or waiting to hear back from a job. I’m talking about that nagging feeling of being sad, wondering what’s wrong but not knowing what’s wrong. That, my friends, is your spirit telling you that someone or something around you is not good for you, so beware. Every time I’ve had that feeling, and I removed myself from the person, place, or thing, I ended up not having that nagging feeling anymore, instantly! This may not be something doctors will tell you; they’ll tell you, you have anxiety – but until you get rid of that friend, spouse, job, or whatever, it will never go away. When people tell me they cry all the time for no reason, it is a sign that your spirit is telling you something is wrong. Pay attention to your reactions of people, if you feel happy when they’re around, fine! If you feel anxiety when they’re around and uneasy, run! There is nothing else to figure out, it’s not anxiety from your past, it is your spirit saying “watch out for them right now”. Whether you have fears from your past or not, a person’s presence should make you feel at ease if they are genuinely good for you. When you enter love, you’ll enter rest, and it’ll feel easy. I am talking about friends, family, and romantic love. This love is also needed to make it through life, when you are surrounded by love, that can boost your chances of achieving, because that is an energy that boosts you forward, and does not hold you back
- Living – my dear, it is good to live. Sometime people are always waiting for everything to be good to live. living means, enjoyment. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect to enjoy and live life, however, you may have to shift your perspective of what enjoyment means depending on your situation. Don’t look at Instagram and say enjoyment means what everyone else is doing, it could mean that, but it could also mean gathering some friends and dancing. If you are going through a hard time, and it is financial, you still have the right to enjoy where you can. Joy makes you feel better and achieve more. When you allow yourself to enjoy, your mind resets and even comes up with new ideas on how to handle the situation. I speak from experience, friends! No matter what, things may stress me out, but I’ll find enjoyment, and in that enjoyment, I’ll find ideas. I am a solutions based, faith-based person. I understand life comes, and life will always have challenges, however, my confidence comes from knowing that I will always find ways to overcome those challenges, whether on my own or with help; it’s all part of the process. So, if I know for a fact that I will overcome, I will not stop my joy if it doesn’t happen right away. I have too many examples of victory to worry – all I do is pray, act on solutions, and wait for the results. Don’t worry about what people will say, “oh she owes bills and is enjoying”, “she’s getting divorced and partying” so what! Because if you have a stroke when stress becomes too much, will they take care of you? Again, enjoyment may not mean a $500 concert, but it can mean a night out, an inexpensive event, or inviting friends over to eat and watch movies. I used to isolate myself until I figure things out, but with good people, I don’t need to do that, because remember what we learned in the love section, they will understand and even boost you to success. Let me explain something; stress isn’t normal, because of this society we live in, people have become individualized, chasing things that don’t matter, when in reality, a community is sustained by all the things I’m mentioning in this blog post. The best thing we can do for our loved ones in need is be love, be life, and be laughter to relieve their stress.
- Learning – My dear, learning is one way to relax the mind. When the mind is bogged down with the same thoughts all the time, it is stressful. Sometimes escaping that cycle, learning something new, and expanding your mind is all you need. Social media exposes us to thoughts of people all day, and information can be learned, but sometimes, learning is best when it can be applied. I can learn about the news of the day, or I can learn how to plant a garden, one is useful for life, one is just passing knowledge. Our mind likes to be challenged, and there is a time for it, but don’t allow your mind to stay in the cycle of the same knowledge. Your mind feels free when you learn something new. You can even feel more aware, and inspired. All of these things the body needs to rest. It is actually a physical feeling of the mind being free. When I lived in Washington, DC, I was always at events, learning. I was partying too, but I would attend events where I can learn and engage in important dialogue, it felt so freeing to just learn – and when we feel free, we rest easy.
~Love, Live, Laugh, Learn~
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Melanated Gem is still here to make you look beautiful ladies! and here to make you look handsome, sir.