The importance of purposely getting out of the fast lane, pulling over, and sitting awhile for reflection and peace of mind to limit chronic inflammation.
While I received the CD, Hymns by Gentri for review, the thoughts and opinions in this article are my own.
Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself from harmful stimuli, such as bacteria and viruses. Short-term inflammation is good and necessary; it is what allows the body to properly heal itself from a cut to a stubbed toe to surgery. But chronic, silent inflammation is not good.Chronic inflammation is life-threatening & is becoming a serious health issue for midlifers. Left untreated, a person’s risk increases for a troubling number of today's most common illnesses Click To Tweet
from heart disease and diabetes to arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
How do you know you might be susceptible to chronic inflammation? Symptoms of chronic inflammation include fatigue, sleep issues, mood swings, weight gain, skin breakouts, belly bloat, and brain fog. My husband’s doctor believes that my husband’s midlife health issues with skin problems and food sensitivity to wheat, oats and rye is due to chronic inflammation. That caught our attention!!
What induces chronic inflammation? Taking in too much processed sugar, caffeine, unhealthy fats and proteins for a start. But the biggest contributor to chronic inflammation is stress—the daily grind of doing too much and expecting too much; disappointments, struggles and life-changing events.
While some stress is unavoidable, much of our stress is self-imposed. We aren’t willing to stop, change course or even simply take a break. My doctor recently pointed out to me that I am that kind of person. She said she recognized that because of my “Type A” personality, I have spent my whole life loaded up (and enjoying I might add) with lots of responsibilities, tasks, and activities. But she warned me that that lifestyle is no longer sustainable the older I get. Proof of this is the midlife physical manifestations of my stress: stomach issues, TMJ, and anxiety. My doctor basically told me, if I didn’t reduce my activities, the stress and chronic inflammation will be the end of me. Whoa.
So, what am I doing to lessen my constant stress? For starters, I’ve let go of a couple of my responsibilities; I schedule less; and if I can’t get my list done in a day, I let it go. You don’t know how hard it has been for me to do these simple corrections. After all, I am accustomed to running the world. People and organizations depend on me. But so does my family and my overall health. If I want to live to see my grandchildren grow up; If I want to take full advantage of midlife opportunities, the answer is not to do more, but to do less.
Another way I’m trying to manage my stress level is to schedule time for quiet reflection aided by peaceful, calming music. I was recently given a CD from Shadow Mountain Records that is perfect for this self-imposed quiet time: Hymns by Gentri-The Gentleman Trio.
I wasn’t familiar with this group before I received their CD. What I’ve found out is that Gentri was established in June 2014 and is comprised of three dynamic tenors: Brad Robins, Casey Elliott and Bradley Quinn Lever. Pioneering a signature sound they call “Cinematic Pop,” the music of GENTRI is transfused with lush, epic orchestrations and rich, dynamic three-part harmonies all composed by the group’s producer Stephen Nelson. They have performed across the United States with some famous artists and Hymns is their third album.
While Hymns is “Christ-centered” music, it is appropriate for any time you want to step away from daily over-stimulation. The music is not only soothing but also has wonderful messages of hope, courage and peace –the perfect combination for stress-free reflection. My favorite titles on the album are the traditional, “Be Still, My Soul,” and a contemporary song, “I’ll Fly Away.” To me, the harmonies and the orchestration are stirring. The more I listen, the more I can feel my stress level diminishing and therefore, my inflammation being reduced.
Chronic inflammation is serious and needs to be combated. Watching what you eat and finding ways to limit stress – like listening to soothing and uplifting music as Gentri’s Hymns –are proven ways to reduce chronic inflammation for a healthier, productive life.
Are you susceptible to chronic inflammation too? What do you do to cut back on stress?