We live in stressful times. In January 2017, the American Psychological Association reported that Americans were feeling more stress in January than 6 months prior, and it’s no surprise that the majority of the stress was due to the political climate, the future of our nation, and the outcome of the presidential election. This was the biggest increase in stress level so far in the ten years that they have been tracking it.
Much of our current stress has to do with toxicity—it’s literally everywhere.
From pollutants in our air, to questionable ingredients in our food, to dangerous chemicals in our household cleaners, biological toxins seem inescapable.
From so-called fake news and dishonesty, to scandals and abuse, to school shootings and senseless violence, psychological toxins seem inescapable.
Toxic people and substances enter our spaces, drawing life and energy from us. They activate our stress responses, elevating our cortisol and making us more susceptible to diseases.
The beautiful news is that regardless of the source or type of toxin we are experiencing, there are simple remedies that don’t require dollars–just investing in ourselves and our community with open hearts.
- We can identify and remove the things that are making us sick, rather than medicating the symptoms away.
- We can take brain breaks, unplug from technology and news, and go for a hike in nature, practice yoga, or read a good novel.
- We can set goals and actively pursue them, rather than just letting life happen to us.
- We can choose to see the world as working for us, rather than against us.
- We can let go of hurts, rather than allowing them to fester and eat away at us.
- We can choose gratitude rather than excessive longing.
- We can choose to give away, rather than endlessly accumulate.
- We can engage creatively with the problems around us, rather than disconnecting, ignoring, or despairing.