How To Restore Peace During Stressful Times


Even if your personal life is peaceful, you'd probably agree with me that we live in stressful times. With non-stop news reports, smart phones and social media commentaries from the informed often conflicting with the uninformed, our lives are inundated with anxiety provoking stimulus.  You may be able to rest in the peace of our Lord, but many people around you don't.

If you have sensed a desire to help those who are in such great need of peace, this article is for you.  If you or someone dear to you needs greater peace, this article will help.

But first, allow me to ask you some questions to help you identify where those needs for stress relief may lie.

* Do you struggle with your thoughts about the recent news stories involving current events?

* Were you or someone in your family affected by recent natural disasters or tragedies?

 * Are you or someone in your life going through major upheaval? 

* Are you glued to your cell phone, looking for updates on the latest issues?

 * Is there someone in your workplace who is a perfectionist to the degree they are disruptively obsessive or hysterical?

 * Do you have a client who seems to live chaos to chaos?

 * Do you find yourself getting impatient, agitated or frustrated after spending time around these people?

... If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a victim of stress or secondhand stress.

stressful times woman text

“Half of my anxieties come from my phone,” a millennial told me. “I need help to stop thinking about the messages and posts things that are distracting me and upsetting me.”

According to Collegiate Times, "A large chunk of college students’ stress comes from their own cell phone. Our phones are designed to draw us in, so sometimes you have to put it away.

Research from St. Louis University has found negative stress effects can be triggered merely by observing another person who is stressed. The study found that witnesses of stress have increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Can Stressful Times Lead to Sin?

Max Lucado, pastor and author (in an interview with Crosswalk.com) says, "Anxiety is not a sin; anxiety is an emotion, and emotions in and of themselves are not sin. But they can certainly lead to sins, can’t they? If I allow my anxiety to drive me into binge-drinking, or binge-shopping, or if I allow my anxiety to cause me to be withdrawn from my family for whom I’ve been assigned to be a caregiver, or if I allow my anxiety to make me bitter or angry or to lash out or to try to get back [at someone], then sin surfaces as a result of inappropriately dealing with anxiety."

"But anxiety’s an emotion," Lucado explains.  "It’s an emotion like sadness, like guilt, like joy. And so the emotion in and of itself is not sinful. But if it’s not dealt with appropriately, it can cause us to make decisions that we will certainly regret."

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by 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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:6-9

... "I really think the key to dealing with anxiety is understanding that we really can manage our thoughts. There might be a mindset among some people that says we’re the victims of our thoughts. But that’s not the teaching of Scripture. Why would Jesus say, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled” if it’s not possible to keep our hearts from being troubled?  You know? So he has given us the ability not of controlling our circumstances, but we have been given the ability of controlling the way we view and interpret our circumstances."

Amen, we have. So many of us know God's promise of peace but we don't yet have the skills to achieve it. We must learn how and I teach this in our Stress Relief course.

More Research and Management of Our Thoughts

This is where we seek more scientific help. We can look to research and learn how to manage our thoughts.  Take captive every thought, so to speak, to abate the stress. Easier said than done though.

Professor and neuroscientist at UCLA's Brain Research Institute, Marco Iacoboni, MD, PhD, explains how this works. He says that brain cells called mirror neurons can be electrically excitable. He says that these neurons are believed to be the basis of our ability to understand the actions of others, for example the intent of a predator. When someone experiences stress, these neurons are believed to fire, stimulating regions of the brain that imprints and remembers this reaction. In this way when another person exhibits the same emotion, the brain remembers the reaction and is activated again.

You may be aware that chronic stress is bad for our health because it weakens our immune system. It also puts us at risk for other health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease and worse.  70-90% of all visits to a primary care physician are believed to be stress-related.

There was a small study that took place in 2014 that was noted in the periodical Psychological Science, and discovered that infants had a markedly increased heart rate when their mothers felt agitated after they receive negative feedback. The intensity of the stress was matched between the mother and the baby. They discovered that the more stressed the mother, the more stressed the infant.

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Here are some tips to reduce stress from WebMD.

  • Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
  • Keep a positive attitude; rather than defaulting to negatives (''Nothing goes right for me,'' or ''Bad things always happen to me''), give yourself positive messages (''I'm doing my best,'' or ''I'll ask for help'').
  • Halt stress in its tracks; if you feel overwhelmed, take a walk or drive in the slow lane to avoid getting angry at other drivers.
  • Manage your time. Give yourself time to get things done; set your watch so you have more time to prepare for an event.
  • Do things that are healthy and pleasurable, like reading or gardening.
  • Take 15-20 minutes every day to sit quietly and reflect. Learn and practice relaxation techniques. (prayer, meditation, mindfulness)

It should be a priority for each of us to remain calm and avoid stress whenever possible. Secondhand stress, otherwise rarely addressed, is a topic of study in our Stress Relief Coach training and certification course and I give you lots of great information to relieve stress symptoms.

This course was rated five stars in every category by professional educators, master coaches and beta participants. Rave reviews call this "a life-saving program". Graduates learned to customize solutions for themselves, individuals they coach, groups and even how to help corporations create stress management programs. The graduates of Stress Relief coaching found a tremendous opportunity to create a powerful, additional revenue stream in their practice.

In the course I also teach you how to create and market your own stress coaching practice. Now is the best time ever to reach out to others about this tremendous solution you offer.

The foundation of the course is scriptural and I also include empirically-proven scientific findings that demonstrate ancient prophesies from the Bible.

If you want to learn more, you can watch the videos and listen to the audios and testimonials on the course description page to discover whether this course is helpful to you.

Learn more at http://pccca.org/stress/

My readers and I greatly value your thoughts and comments on this topic.  Please tell us what you're thinking down below in the comments section!

Love and blessings,

Leelo Bush, Ph.D.
CEO & Director of Training
PCCCA / Beautiful Life International, LLC

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