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image of  Young lady with face covered by her handsFinding Ways to Cope
By Dr. Winston Craig

            Are things out of control in your life? Are you faced with unrelenting pressures and deadlines? Maybe you are over-committed and trying to do more than you can realistically accomplish in a given time. Do you feel overwhelmed by financial or family problems? Are you failing to achieve the high expectations you have set for yourself. Maybe you constantly feel fatigued, inefficient in your work, and enjoying life less and less.

            The ongoing pressures of daily life can really wear you down.  Unmanaged stress can lead to high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and blood lipids, insomnia, ulcers and irritable bowel, tension headaches, backaches, allergies, and depressed immune system with an increased susceptibility to infections and illness. Stress can also worsen an asthmatic condition.

            Just as excessive stress can cause metal fatigue in an airplane wing, so constant stress on the human body can produce mental or physical fatigue. Such fatigue is often followed by  depression. Fatigue also adversely affects your ability to judge, discern, and be creative.

There are a number of other ways to cope effectively with ongoing stress:

  1. Identify the stress factors in your life
  2. Learn to set boundaries
  3. Prioritize your tasks
  4. Have a regular exercise program
  5. Take time to relax, and get adequate sleep
  6. Keep connected with supportive friends and family
  7. Take time for prayer and reflection on God's  word
  8. Get involved with an enjoyable hobby
  9. Have a sense of humor
  10. Find time to serve those in real need

            In addition, some people get help dealing with stress by recalling to memory an enjoyable occasion, a meaningful experience, or a peaceful moment they have personally experienced. These moments of quiet reflection include thoughtful contemplation of what Christ has done for them, remembering a favorite place on vacation, or recalling a good deed done to someone in need.

            Stress may be substantially dissipated when God answers the earnest prayer:

"Lord give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference."

 

By Winston Craig, PhD
Andrews University

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Books by Dr. Winston Craig