3 Spiritual Based Tips to Alleviate Stress for the Caregiver
Being a caregiver can be one of life’s most rewarding life choices, and it can also be one of the most stressful. When facing difficult times either in personal life or on the job, spirituality can play an important part in the caregivers’ ability to cope with stressful times and maintain a sense of peace and well-being. There are many different methods that can be used to enhance or establish a feeling of spiritual attunement, and the results from practicing these methods can be felt immediately. Consistent use of a faith based activity that provides a connection to a higher power can change one’s outlook on life for the better. Talking with a clergyman or priest about difficulties in life can provide reassurance that a loving, higher power ultimately has control, that stressful moments are felt by everyone at one time or another, and that no one is ever truly alone when they walk in faith. Meditation, the practice of quieting the mind, can promote a profound feeling of peace, lower blood pressure, and restore much needed energy to an already fatigued caregiver. The positive results of spending 15 minutes to an hour meditating everyday can be immediately felt. The physical and mental benefits of consistent mediation have been well documented, and the history of using mediation for spiritual growth dates back to biblical times. Prayer, or regular communication with your higher power, has also been found to provide great spiritual benefits. Talking daily with a higher power can bring about a feeling of being more closely connected to a universal consciousness, and minimize stress. When it includes the giving of thanks for material or spiritual gifts, prayer can lead to an awareness of the blessings that may have previously gone unnoticed. Giving thanks produces a feeling of gratitude that counteracts negative, stressful thoughts. In many religions, counting blessings in prayer can also give the higher power a desire to bestow even more favors to an already grateful heart. Spending time in nature can immediately quiet the mind and produce a feeling of peace. Whether it’s 30 minutes at lunchtime or a 30 minute walk, the benefits of spending time outdoors and alone with a universal creator are immediate and gratifying. Yoga is akin to meditation, save for the physical aspect. It has been shown to strengthen spirituality, alleviate stress, and ease health problems. Like meditation, just a few minutes a day can provide positive benefits, and making it part of a daily routine can produce feelings of calmness and tranquility while increasing general happiness and physical health. Using these methods of alleviating stress can also aid in spiritual development and advancement. To get the best possible benefits, the method(s) of choice should be practiced every day in order to achieve the highest spiritual growth.