Stress

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 4:8-9

Hans Selye was an endocrinologist in the 1940’s who pioneered the work on the effects of stress on the body. He was among the first scientists to recognize the role of what we now call “stress” by naming it the general adaptation syndrome. He called it this because the body responds to stress by producing certain hormones, and eventually inflammation, that causes the body to react in very negative ways. In others words, stress can make us sick, and it can make sickness even worse.

Stress has always been a part of human life, but it plays out differently in our modern culture. We are surrounded by access to news of local and world problems to a degree never imagined in prior centuries. I have had many clients talk with me about personal problems such as marriage, job, financial problems, etc., but there is an added burden many say. They may not be able to put their finger on it exactly, but when asked about specific stressors, they may add something like, …”and you know, all the stuff going on in the world today…”

Yes, I know what they are saying – all the stuff going on in the world today. It is easy to get caught up in the bad news all around us. That can give us a negative attitude, whereby we start to expect that all the news is bad.

Some “vacations” from news might be helpful. Cut back on social media; just don’t turn on or surf for the national newscasts for a while; find an uplifting book and remind yourself of the positive things in your life.

We all know that the bad news will be there waiting when we return to viewing it, but maybe we should consume a little less of the stuff that, “you know, is going on in the world today.”  

Prayer: Lord, help us to remember all the good news that is around, and find comfort in your words, Amen

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