Managing Stress: Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

by Mary White, CCNI Treasurer

As a Professional Christian Coach, I’ve seen stress increase in all the people around me. An increase in stress is not good for anyone and so I want to share with you what’s causing this extra stress and what you can do to protect yourself and bring back your peace and joy.

We’re all under tremendous stress these days. I’d like to share with you some of the many ways we’re under stress and how we can manage them.

Before we can manage stress, we first need to know what can cause us stress and how we can recognize it.

Here are some of life’s stressors:

Changing Jobs,   Losing a Job,   Death of a Loved One,    Divorce,

Financial Pressure,   Getting Married,   Moving,   Chronic Illness,

Emotional Problems,   Care Giving,   A Natural Disaster,

Worry About the Future,   Too Much Change Too Fast,  The Pandemic,

Inflation

Stress, in and of itself, is not bad. God created us with adrenaline for a purpose and it’s extremely helpful if controlled. We can become stressed when a deadline is approaching and adrenaline allows us to finish on time. Or it can push us to accomplish much more than we can imagine.

Stress becomes serious when it consumes us. Adrenaline triggers the body’s fight or flight response. It’s an important part of the body’s ability to survive, but sometimes the body will release this hormone when it is under stress but not facing real danger.

What happens to us when we have serious stress? How can we recognize when we’re stressed?

There are a number of signs or symptoms. It’s helpful to be aware of our “stress symptoms” so that we can tell when we’re becoming stressed and we can do something about it. If we’ve been stressed out for a short period of time, we may start to notice these symptoms:

Feeling Very Weepy or Over Emotional,   Difficulty Sleeping,   Headaches,

Fatigue,   Upset Stomach,   Cramps,   Constipation,   Diarrhea,   Heart Burn,

Difficulty Concentrating,   Difficulty in Relationships  

When stress becomes long-term and not properly addressed, it can lead to a number of more serious health conditions:

Depression,   High Blood Pressure,   Heart Disease,   Weight Gain or Loss,

Irritable Bowel Syndrome,   Eczema,   Acne,   Psoriasis,

Changes in Sex Drive,   Difficulty in Relationships

Are you noticing any of these in your own life? Pause and think about this.

What is the number one fastest way to relieve stress?

PRAY

Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the Peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

So the first thing we as Christians should do is pray. God promises to hear our prayers and will give us peace that we don’t understand.

In our next segment, we’ll cover other ways to relieve stress in our lives.

Mary White is a Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor as well as a Certified Professional Leadership Coach through PCCI and an Associate Certified Coach through ICF and is a trained Master Financial Coach with Dave Ramsey’s organization.

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