All of us are probably aware of the tremendous amount of recent studies conducted on stress and how it relates to our overall health. In modern years, a wealth of knowledge has been learned on this subject and the global community has embraced its findings, “Stress can be life-threatening!” But how much does stress influence our health, emotional and physical well-being? I know from experience that stress can lead to a pre-mature aging, fatigue, hair loss and even DEATH!
Yes my friends, stress can lead to death. A recent study shows that at least 10 major illness and ailments are directly or indirectly related to stress. These ten include(but are not limited to):
Heart Disease, Asthma, Obesity, Diabetes, Headaches, Depression/Anxiety, Gastrointestinal problems, Alzhemier’s Disease, Accelerated aging and of course Pre-mature death.
All of us have are or have either loved one’s, friends or those we know that have or are suffering from one of the above ailments. I have many family members that suffer from some of the above ailments. I believe that these illnesses are directly related to the amount of uncontrolled stress in their lives.
In addition to the above ailments, stress hinders the amount and pace of hair growth and physical energy. Thousands of people have suffered from hair loss due to stress, including Alopecia. Those of you who heart natural hair care, are probably aware of the term “tension hair loss”. This is a term that describes the act of hair loss due to stressful weaves, extensions, braids and other hair styles, that often cause tension around the sensitive nape and hairline, as well as other parts of the scalp. Stress or tension is term to describe a “pulling” or pressure that is expressed by uncomfortable, weighted pulling. So if we see this and agree to its known presence in natural situations such as hair, etc., we can definitely agree to the fact that it starts out in the spiritual realm and work its way out.
All of us have some form or type of stress. Some of us live under more stress or worry more than others but all that live on this planet must endure a reasonable amount of stress. Stress is also associated with “suffering”, seemingly so. When we are suffering or FEEL like we are, it creates a stressful situation for us which can lead to increased heart palpitations, increased breathing, anxiety and more!And for those of us who suffer persecution from those around us for righteousness or doing the “right thing”, this can increase the amount of stress in our lives.
2 Timothy 3:12 states: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
The question is not how to “get rid of stress” like some might teach online. The question is “how to you handle your stress”? Unfortunately, some have turned to drugs and other unhealthy, negative answers which can only lead to other major problems.
Okay, there are a lot of “snack oil” products promising to do this or that or promising to provide a miracle cure for stress. As Christians, we look to the Holy scriptures as a compass and as the answer to all of our problems while living on earth. I love the acronym for the Bible, B. I. B. L. E.-“Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth!”
We do not resort to the same solutions as the world or should I say “unbelievers”. This fundamental concept is what ultimately separates us from unbelievers. Without this, how could one truly know the difference of the two.
Before you go out and spend one dime, start with these 5 simple steps, based on the word of God, to help control or manage the amount of stress in your life:
1. What’s stressing you?
-Seek guidance from the Lord to find out what stressors have taken up resident in your life. Are you concerned about bills, a loved one or some other issue?
2. Use the tool of Prayer
-The bible says in Phillipians 4:7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.-NIV
God is our source for peace and our ultimate problem solver!! Look to him for every solution that you seek and to resolve every fear or worry that you have. By taking your fear, worry and anxiety to God, you are acknowledging He and Him alone, can solve your problem and that you are accepting and embracing your reliance on Him.
3. Devotion and Meditation
-In the KJV translation, Matthew 11:28-30 states “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
God’s word has assurances and promises all throughout it. With mediation on these assurances “the scripture”, we are able to counteract any fear or worry that try to enter our spirit, soul or mind and cause stress. This is spiritual warfare at its finest! The word of God is a for sure sword!
4. Choose Faith not fear!
When fear come’s, we have the option to choose faith or fear. There are in direct opposition to one another.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” KJV
If you’re experiencing worry, fear and anxiety, God is not the author of this! These are from their father, “the devil”. When you feel fear, know that Satan is fear and God is Love. God is the author of peace, serenity and tranquility. Satan is the author of confusion, chaos and calamity!
Matthew 6:25-26: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” KJV
Know that God surely love’s you and if he takes care of all of the wild animals, He can surely handle our problems and provide for our needs, whether it be material, emotional or spiritual.
Romans 8:31 “If God be for, who can be against us” KJV
Regardless of what is going on around you, do not worry for you know that God is for you and He is MORE than the whole world!
John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” NLT
I love the way the New Living translation translates this passage. Jesus say’s here that He was leaving us a GIFT of “peace of mind and heart”. Wow! And even more, not like the fading image of peace that is offered through the world but the real, authentic peace that can only be found in God! Choose to trust God and reject fear.
5. Bless His name!
One of the best way’s to combat the stresses of life is to use praise and worship. Praise and worship can be conducted through a variety of ways. Speaking, shouting, dancing, listening to Godly music and teachings are all ways that Christians praise the Lord.
Psalms 30:4 “ Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.” KJV
So many people, including myself, have experienced the superior power of praise and worship! If we praise and worship, it overshadows the stress, anxiety and fear that satan uses to stress us out. This is probably due to the fact that we are engulfed in the presence of the Holy Spirit and the power of God, and through praise and we worship, we realize that they are so much larger than our problems. Fear cannot coexist with the Holy Spirit!