We live in a society where there is always something pulling at us and although it is true that stress can affect emotions, health, etc no one can avoid stress. Everyone has some amount of stress each and every day. Stress is a typical reaction to demands made upon the body, it is normal and in some aspects needed part of life (i.e. when working out it is my goal to cause tension within my body so that my muscles can work and grow). Sadly enough many of us do not know how to manage stress and it is the prolonged period of stress upon our bodies, emotions, etc that can prove to be detrimental.
Paul tells us to “be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). Oftentimes, we as humans stress over things out of our control. I once heard that worrying about yesterday causes depression, and worrying about tomorrow causes anxiety. The exhortation by Paul is to be anxious for nothing, but pray. My father always said that prayer is the vehicle by which we communicate to God. You see rather than reacting to life’s circumstances with worry, we should respond to life’s circumstances with prayer, supplication, and requests with all thanksgiving. Thus, we can enjoy the peace of God, which is the inner calm or tranquility provided by the Father and that transcends all human intellect, analysis, and/or insight, which shall be a protector of our heart and mind.
A few other natural things you can do to help with stress:
- Deep Breathing
I have learned that taking deep breaths is valuable and affects your entire body. Breathing exercises are a great way to relax and relieve stress. Try it today!!
One of the most visible results of exercise is appearance. This is an underrated aspect to how working out can relieve stress, since many people in our culture are becoming more and more conscious to how they look. Exercising has often been associated with decreasing the negative hormones in your body (cortisol) and increasing endorphins, often called the “feel good hormones.”
- Guided Imagery:
Many times we allow weeds to fester in our minds. It was Martin Luther who once said “I cant stop a bird from flying over my head, but I can stop it from making a nest on it” (paraphrase). It is up to us to replace the weeds with seeds. Scripture says “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8)
Quite often we manage our stress by under eating or overeating. Just as stress can give us the energy and focus we need to deal with a situation, eating properly provides our bodies with nutrients, minerals, and fiber it needs to grow and be replenished
Stress can give us the energy and focus we need to deal with a situation and it can motivate us to change. But too much stress can build up and cause us to worry, lose sleep or make choices that are not healthy. It is imperative that you and I “be anxious for nothing” but in everything let us pray. When we are anxious for nothing and respond to life’s quagmires with communication with God, we will experience not only the peace with God (that all believers experience at salvation – Rom 5) but will also enjoy the peace of God.
How do you deal with stress? Have you spoken to the Father today? How much time do you spend in communication to God each day? How do you remind yourself of things to think about?
For More On Peace Take A Listen to This Sermon entitled Eye of the Storm