The latest Stress in America report has been recently published by the America Psychological Association. There are some interesting facts included in the report:
- Millennials are more likely than other generations to say they eat too much or eat unhealthy foods due to stress
- 43 percent of women report having overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month due to stress, compared to 32 percent of men.
- 31 percent of teens say that their stress level has increased in the past year and 34 percent believe their stress levels will increase in the coming year.
- 43 percent of American adults report that stress has caused them to lie awake at night in the past month.
- 61 percent of adults say that managing stress is extremely or very important, but only 35 percent say they are doing an excellent or very good job at it.
Many more facts are in the report, which can be read at this link.
The most relevant question is, are you handling your difficult life circumstances and relationship conflicts in an effective and healthy manner? When we poorly manage our stressors, we get in trouble from a health and wellness perspective. Many health-related issues, such as found in the graphic to the left, can occur.
God made us to be able to handle stressful situations in the short term... but it's when our bodies responses continue over time that the stress can be manifested in ways that are physical, mental and emotional. I've created a Life, Stress and Health Model which depicts the major determinants of health and how stress plays a factor.
One way to counteract stress is to exercise on a regular basis. All medical professionals would recommend this to you. But there's a much more effective way, I'd submit. The best way to protect ourself from stress getting the best of us is to live out God's principles for living as fully as possible.
His Word tells us:
“…Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true and everyone should accept it.” 1 Timothy 4:7-9 (New Living Translation, Scond Edition)
Paul reminds us that these 'spiritual exercises,' - biblical principles - that lead us to a life of godliness are much better than physical exercise. We should take heed then, and do our very best to apply his truths to our lives.
I've identified 42 Biblical Principles for Living a Full Life. Several of them are directly related to our health. I'll share a few of them with you here:
- Forgive Others and Yourself
- Trust God
- Live by the Power of the Holy Spirit
- Believe and know Your Identity in Christ
- Honor the Sabbath and Rest
- Do Not Worship False Gods/Idols
- Renew Your Minds with God's Truths
These are some very relevant principles that are directly related to our health.... and to managing the life circumstances and relationship challenges that can be stessful.
If Americans were to more fully embrace our Creator and His principles for living, then we would not have as much stress in America... and the stress we would have could be managed more effectively.
Our God, and His Word, has a whole lot to say about stress management.
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Proverbs 55:22
"Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding.Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6
About once a month, I conduct a live teleseminar/workshop. Stress management God's way, is a part of it. Feel free to join me for - Understanding the Faith and Health Link.