Prayer can aid in stress relief
"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and overburdened and I will cause you to rest."
-- Mathew 11:28 (AMP)
As the post-holiday blues mount and we're back to the daily grind, we may experience some stress.
Stress is a word we hear often in our culture. I heard the word was originally developed as an engineering term to describe the amount of strain a physical structure could take without collapsing under pressure.
As a nurse, I used the word "stress" when assessing factors that may have attributed to a person's illness. It is a factor in a large percentage of disease. It's not only related to the physical part of a person's burden, but includes the emotional and mental factors too.
God has designed us to tolerate a certain amount of pressure. But when we accumulate an unreasonable amount, it starts to show up in our physical bodies, producing aches and pains and other illnesses. We break down emotionally, unable to manage our feelings of depression, anxiety or anger (to name a few). Our spiritual well-being may suffer as well. We don't feel like praying and lose our attitude for gratitude.
Almost anything can cause a person to feel stressed. And in these present times, stress-inducing situations are occurring more than ever.
Health care professionals have a list of factors that increase stress. Some things on the list produce more stress than others.
Not all stress comes from a negative change. A new marriage or a move can place a burden on you; the change of routine, lack of sleep or postpartum depression when a new baby arrives can cause stress. A new job can be a stressor until we learn the ins and outs of it.
Other stress producers include the loss of a spouse through death or divorce, worry and anxiety over a "to do " list that never ends, unresolved relationship issues, financial distress, or concerns that continue on for a prolonged period of time.
Jesus tells us to come to him with our burdens. How do we do that?
God knows us better than anyone. Verbalizing our concerns to him and listening for any intuitive ideas may bring an answer. Some advice may come through the counsel of a friend or someone else. An article or a book with a topic of interest might catch our attention. God may show us how to change our schedule, or handle a relationship in a healthy way. And the simplest stress buster is laughter.
While we wait for our burden to decrease, counting our blessings -- instead of stressing -- can help us cope with the pressures in our daily lives.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 543-8413.