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Stress (IGBATTMHO All Rights Reserved)
Stressful feelings are triggered by our view of a situation or event not necessarily the event itself. Just because a situation is stressful for me, does not mean that it will be for you. However, when our mind does perceive a situation to be stressful, it sends orders to the rest of our body. Our body then responds to the orders that it receives from the mind, by becoming both emotionally and physiologically aroused. Have you ever almost had a car accident? Or have you ever been startled by something that seemed to come out of nowhere? Well if so, you may have experienced a sudden increase in your heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension. Those symptoms were activated by the mind to prepare the body to either flee, or to face the situation that was triggering the response. When the event that caused your body to be aroused was removed, those symptoms diminished. But some of us live in a constant state, or near constant state of arousal or stress. Our bodies and emotions don’t get a chance to relax so we are always on guard. Unfortunately, the longer our bodies are subjected to stress, the more detrimental the impact will be. Ongoing symptoms of stress can trigger a whole host of negative symptoms to include: increased sleeping, overeating, depression, muscle tension, ulcers, nervousness, loss of sexual appetite, tiredness, and memory loss (Cunningham, 2000). So for the sake of the kingdom we must learn to decrease the impact of stress on our lives.
There are many strategies that we can use to manage our stress. However, there is no one strategy that will work for everyone in every situation. So in order to manage your stress you must look at the specific situation that you are facing, and choose a strategy that will work best for you. For example, changing jobs, learning how to relax, and learning better communication techniques may be appropriate strategies for one situation, but making diet changes, learning assertiveness skills, and exercise may be more appropriate in another. While there are many ways a person can manage stress, the one strategy that we want to focus on here, is the strategy of changing the way we think. Face it, we may not be able to change the situation that is causing us stress but by changing our thoughts we may be able to decrease the impact of stress on our lives. Take a few minutes to review the list of strategies on the next page and pick the one that works best for you.
Managing Stress – Changing How We Think
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
Jeremiah 17:7 (KJV)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Psalms 37:23 (KJV)
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