© 2018 Miraculo Inc. All Rights Reserved
According to the American Institute of Stress, 77 percent of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. One-third of us feel we live with extreme stress. Feeling stressed out is an epidemic.
Chronic stress comes from our external circumstances putting continuous pressure on us mentally, emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Stress drains our bodies, minds, and spirits. It interferes with our sleep, causes us to lose our appetites or overeat, creates mental confusion, and even makes us physically ill. As Christians, we should live manifesting the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). That is difficult to do when the hectic pace of our busy schedules allows stress to creep in and take over.
In a 2014 report called Stress in America: Paying With Our Health, the American Psychological Association found the top 7 causes of stress in the United States to be the following:
We work too much, think we earn too little, eat too many processed foods that do not nourish our bodies, spend too much time on our electronic devices of all kinds, get too little sleep, and pay for it all with our health. The chronic stress this induces in no way resembles the “abundant life” Christ says He came to give us (John 10:10).
I know chronic stress personally, but I can’t say it’s my friend. After 25 years in Southern California, my company recently moved me from my home to another state. My wife and I said goodbye to the church family we started in our living room 11 years prior. We drove away to start a new life in Idaho, leaving our two sons in the rearview mirror as they stayed behind to finish college.
Then three months ago, just after the holidays, I lost my job with that company. Suddenly, we were out of work and totally unsure what might happen to us next. I had no income. No savings. No plan for the future. The stress of the move to a new state, coupled with unemployment, paralyzed us. Our stress levels went through the roof. My stress magnified whenever I started to wonder, What if something bad happens tomorrow? The more I wondered about the unknown, the more I began to spin out of control.
Here’s what I discovered in the middle of my stress: God was with me in the moment.
One of the most beautiful verses in the Gospels for me is the place where Jesus addresses our tendency to stress over the everyday cares of this world. You probably know the passage. Jesus starts by telling us we can’t serve God and money at the same time. After making His point about our need to have only one master in our life, He proceeds to remind us of a few simple yet profound truths.
Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27, ESV)
Even as I read these words, my soul starts to breathe a little easier. My blood pressure drops a little more. My chronic stress starts to fade away.
As I picked up my Bible and spent time in prayer, I started to recognize that God is only with me here and now. Because here and now is where I live and breathe. God does not meet me a week from now or some other time in the future, because I am not there. I am right here in this moment. In this moment is where God is holding me close and reminding me that His love endures forever. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He knows my needs before I ask.
That is when these words of Jesus in Matthew 6 really kicked in for me:
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:34)
Maybe you know how chronic stress feels too. Maybe you’ve lost a job, or filed for bankruptcy, or answered a tragic phone call in the middle of the night. Maybe you struggle with stress on a daily basis. Chronic stress doesn’t have to be driven by unemployment or sickness or financial ruin. Your constant default may be to tread water in an ocean of fear, wondering if anyone will ever come to rescue you.
You can say “no” to many of the root causes of chronic stress and “yes” to success by making changes in your schedule, diet, media consumption, nutrition, and spiritual practices. Start small and create new habits. Here are a few things you can do to alleviate some of your daily stress:
You can also seek natural and medicinal remedies to help alleviate stress. One natural stress aid may be CBD oil. For many, CBD oil has proven to be a very real – and non-addictive, non-intoxicating – solution to chronic stress.
Early research shows that CBD works with a brain receptor called CB1 which affects serotonin levels in the body and plays a key role in mental health. By altering the serotonin signals received by your brain, CBD can help reduce the anxiety that comes from stress. In several studies, CBD oil eliminated it altogether. As always, it’s best to consult your physician before taking any medication or treatment, including CBD oil.
I am so thankful God gives us many ways to alleviate stress. I am even more thankful that He walks with us through whatever challenges or struggles we may be going through. When we give our lives, including our stress, to Him, we find we are never alone.
Send this to a friend