Healthy Spiritual Core Cuts Stress

Description

Anne Graham Lotz shares what she does to manage stress and maintain a healthy spiritual core.

To manage stress, "I do several things daily," says internationally renowned Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz. "One, I walk 2½ miles briskly every day unless it's raining, snowing or icing. I walk when it's really hot or really cold. I do it outside. I don't do it in a mall or on a treadmill."

"Another thing I do is to meet with God in prayer and Bible reading. Just like you need to strengthen your core physically with exercise, you also need to strength your core spiritually,"

"I call it 'centering down.' If I can center down and strengthen the core of who I am, and the core of who I am is my relationship with God, then that helps me maintain peace deep down. If I can maintain a healthy spiritual core, I think that's enormous for helping the stress

"I want to take my focus off myself and focus on God. It's like setting your spiritual compass so no matter which way you turn during the day, whatever comes up, then my thoughts go back to Him and whatever He said that morning."

Anne’s insights on:

• Living a healthy life. "You need to be at peace on the inside. If you have a deep down core of peace because you are in a right relationship with God and other people that goes a long way to keeping you healthy. If that's rattled, I think you'd be more apt to have health issues."

• Managing stress. "Besides walking, praying and reading the Bible daily, every week I get a deep neuromuscular massage. It's not a Swedish massage. It goes after the deep tissue where I get knotted up. It hurts. It's a huge stress reliever to have those muscle kinks worked out once a week."

• Dealing with sleepless nights. "When I go to bed, I can almost always go right to sleep. What I'm finding as I get older is after a couple of hours, I wake up, and I can't go back to sleep. It's miserable. When that happened a few nights ago, I went through my family and prayed for my father, each one of my children, their spouses and my grandchildren. I did go back to sleep, but it was about the time I needed to get up."

• Weaving exercise into her life. "Besides walking, I do stretches every day. I had back trouble starting when I turned 40, so I have to stretch out my muscles every day. Then three times a week, I also work with exercise bands to strengthen my upper body."

"When I do my stretches every morning, I turn on praise music so the words of the music are filling my mind, and that helps to start my day in a positive way."

• Enjoying food while managing her weight. "I weigh myself first thing every morning, and I drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Those are the two biggest things. I do love food. What I've found is if you let the pounds creep on at my age, you can't get them off. So if they start creeping on, I go after them."

*Article first seen in USATODAY, July 7, 2013

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