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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stress Relief

My grandfather used to say “You can’t control everything, but you can pray about everything. Do what you can with the challenges of today and for tomorrow…trust God.

Would you like to relieve some of the stress in your life? Well, pay careful attention to the wisdom in these words and I am confident that, if applied, it will enable you to avoid some of the worry that constantly aims to rob you of your peace. You see, it is not merely the inherent stress associated with life that causes us mental and physical strain, but the pressures created by our own perceptions, conclusions and misunderstandings that lead to the unnecessary and avoidable stress that inhibits our ability to truly enjoy life to its fullest.

A survey conducted by the APA (American Psychological Association) revealed that 1 in every 3 adults experience extreme stress with 15% reaching their “stress high” for up to 15 days out of the month. It goes on to reveal that 48% experience health related issues due to stress and 43% either overeat or eat unhealthy foods due to stress. Those who smoke and drink alcohol - 47% and 17% experienced an increase in their consumption during periods of high stress, respectively.* Here is something that I have come to understand, everyone’s stress is different and affects them in different ways, but a key “first step” to reducing and dealing with your stress more effectively is realizing where your stress comes from and how much of it you can avoid.

It was one of those moments where I was stressing over a few different things when my grandfather offered this life line of wisdom, and as usual, the lesson has helped me to evade unnecessary stress in my life over the years when I apply it in the face of potential pressure. The opportunities to worry are endless; a money issue, work pressures, family and relationship challenges, the list goes on and on. The real question is how much of it can you really control? In the book of Matthew (verses 25 – 34), Jesus personally reminds us that basically, you can’t change a thing by worrying about it. We can only see life in the moment we are in, God sees what has happened, what is happening, and more importantly, what will happen. So the better question is do you trust God with your future?

What my grandfather wanted to convey with this quote was the need for me to understand that God is in control, whether I believe it or not, in fact he would often shorten the quote to just two words…”Trust God”. Much like my post “Dance Lessons” sometimes God allows challenges in our life to bring us closer to him. My post “The Ratio of Life“, reminds us that life is only 10% what happens but 90% what you do about it. The stresses and storms are inevitable, but it is how you handle them that will determine how heavy and how long you experience them. Head over to the archives and check them out, it may only take you five minutes. My prayer for you is that you begin to grasp tightly to this life line of wisdom when the tide of life’s pressure rises. Put your worries and trust in God’s hands, so that after the storm has passed you see that you still stand on a rock of hope in Him. No one said it would be easy, but I can attest that it works. Be Blessed.

*Resource - Hitti, M. (2007, October) Web MD: "1 in 3 Adults Feel Extreme Stress" Retrieved from

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