A storm is brewing. The wind may be howling and the waves crashing. Perhaps the trees are bent nearly to the ground, stretched to their limit.
Just when it seems the darkest, you have to grab onto hope. You have to hope that relief is in site. The storm will pass and the screeching winds will subside.
January is usually thought of as the time new beginnings. I like to think of it as the month of hope.
Everyone needs hope. Without the idea, the small thought, that maybe, just maybe there can be life after the storm- it’s difficult to keep our heads clear. It is hard to turn off the alarm and climb out of bed. A wise mentor once told me that as a doctor the greatest thing you can give a person is hope.
It was a hot autumn afternoon. He was sitting in a lawn chair in my garage after giving a lecture to a hundred people. A woman without a job, no money, had just lost her husband. I watched as he magically made her feel that everything was going to be all right. He gave her hope, and she walked away with her chin up, able to bravely faced the difficulties that lay ahead.
Hope may be the greatest gift that January has to offer particularly when it comes to health problems. January is the month of new beginnings. It’s the time when we dust off the treadmill, forsaking the foods of the holidays and get back into that exercise program. It’s the time that we make a new years resolution to change our eating habits, trim our waistline, and begin working on our health.
It’s also the time to begin the process of taking control of the stress in our lives. Stress is an affliction of our modern society. We all live in a turned on, plugged in, and hectic world. For most people the holidays are a particularly busy time.
#1 There is Hope
So if you’re someone feels frustrated with how your life is going, and your stress level is up to your ears, remember January is the month of hope. Now’s the time to begin getting started on the practices that can help you overcome your stress. Its time for quick stress relief and having hope can be a great stress buster.
What do I mean by this. Well, nothing in my mind signifies hope more than the story of Dr. Craig Oster. Dr. Craig is a good friend of mine who has been struggling with ALS for over 18 years. His body is frail, with small emaciated arms, and a head that looks too big for his disease ravaged body. Yet, thought is body is slight, his heart is huge. Most people would have given up hope after contracting such a horrible illness. Dr. Craig continues not to just survive but to live to help others who have ALS. He fights and struggles, writing a blog, and doing research. Every time I meet with him it lifts my heart.
I realize that the struggles I have are nothing in comparison. The first thing to remember about January is that there is hope. You can get a handle on your stress. It is possible. Even if you have failed time and again, today is a new day. It’s a new year.
#2: If He Can Do it You Can Do It
Dr. Craig Oster used run marathons and now he has a body that has been decimated by ALS. Yet, he has been able to learn new techniques for dealing with the stress in his life. He is able to keep his chin up and continue to strive. You can do the same thing. You have the ability no matter what your situation to change your outlook. You can say, “yes to the possibility of finally taking charge of your stress. It is never too late to begin changing your life. The miracle of Januaury can be yours.
#3 Put a Plan into Action
The third thing you can do is to put a plan into action. Once you realize that there is hope for you your life, and you become certain that if someone else with more difficulty than you can do it, all you have to do is put your life into motion. Take steps to find a plan of stress reduction that works for you. Of course you know by now I’m partial to the concept of using a heart connection as your key stress reduction technique. But whatever technique resonates with your heart grab onto it and begin using it. Set aside 15 minutes of every day to renew the hope that you feel inside of your heart
#4 Let Your Heart Do the Work
The last thing you should do is just relax and let your heart do the work. Your heart has the wisdom and intelligence that you need to keep you well. It’s buried inside of you like buried treasure. And all you have to do is connect your heart to unearth the wisdom and beauty that can give you the stress relief you deserve.
It is January the month of new beginnings. So grab onto hope and find a a great stress buster.
You won’t regret it.