August 12, 2018

Health according to the World Health Organisation is not the mere absence or ailment but an individual’s state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Stress, on the other hand, refers to the body’s response when excessive demand or pressure is placed on it. When the demands or pressure exceeds the body’s capacity, stress will occur.

WHAT CAUSES STRESS
A recent stress survey conducted in the US among 3,068 adults listed the following as the top 4 stressors:
* Money
* Work-related Issues
* Family Responsibilities
* Health concerns

Others causes of stress include:
* Unhealthy competition
* Fear of the Known and unknown (futures)
* External pressures (expectations from Others)
* Lifestyle (diet, lack of adequate sleep, routines)
* Relationships (demands, conflicts, bitterness..)
* Mental distortions (wrong interpretation of Events)

HOW DO I KNOW I AM STRESSED
* Angry, anxious and frustrated
* Easily upset and aggressive
* Abdominal upset ( ulcers)
* Lack of sleep
* Depression
* Increased blood pressure
* Heart problems
* Chest pains
* Diabetes

How do I manage stress
From a Christian perspective, we need to guard our mind and heart with the peace of God. Stay your Mind on God. Isaiah 26:3 says “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee…). We must also learn to petition God in prayer with absolute confidence (Philippians 4:6-7). Thirdly, we must believe in the Love of the Father! ( Romans 8:31-39). These things strengthen one spirit, which can sustain all conditions. It also helps our mind to be sound and renewed and strengthens our spirit to sustain you through the stress. (Prov.18:14).

Other things that can be done to manage stress include avoiding feeling of helpless and despair, unforgiveness (not forgiven by God, and cannot forgive), bitterness and resentment over past experiences.

One must also search for the real source of the stress and know your stressors and sensors. We can learn lessons from Mark 6: 31…“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” The lessons here are:
1. Jesus saw the warning signs
2. Jesus acted immediately!
3. He knew that there was no other substitute
One should also identify stressors within his/her control

* Be committed to working on stressors within your control.
* Ask for wisdom to manage the stressors outside your control.

Again we must build ourself to be resilient in everything including resource management, energy, time, money. Every individual must learn other coping skills that are lacking and learn skills and abilities needed to manage the stressor. We should also develop the capacity to do more with less. As individuals, we must seek support from associations and also help the body to help you be it in your diet, relaxation and even through music therapy. One must also meditate on the word of God, having enough sleep, (rest), exercising frequently, and consulting healthcare providers, if further assistance is needed.

In conclusion, we should as Christians bear in mind that;
* We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God
* God gives us the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
* When we engage Gods Power and wisdom in any situation, we come out as winners!

AMEN

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