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TURNING STRESS INTO SUCCESS (Acts International)

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TURNING STRESS INTO SUCCESS (Acts International) Empty TURNING STRESS INTO SUCCESS (Acts International)

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Jan 2010, 4:49 pm

Turning Stress Into Success Part I
"A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life
and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath
are like rottenness of the bones."1
A "friend" invoices you for considerably more than his
original quote. A family member takes seriously ill and
is in the hospital for months. Responsibilities and
expenses soar. The result? Stress!
I know because these things all happened to me in the
course of a single year. Stress is a normal part of
contemporary living. Ignore it and it will take years
off your life. As Francis Ford Coppola said in The
Godfather movie, "When the mind is stressed, the body
cries out." However, if we deal with our stress
creatively, we can turn our stress into success. How
can we do this?
First. Realize that some stress is helpful. It
provides motivation. For instance, if it weren't for
the stress of needing to eat and having to pay our
bills, we may not want to go to work.
Second. Be aware that stress is only troublesome when
it continues for too long or if there is too much of
it.
I read about a ten-ton bridge that had been serving a
community very well for over fifty years. During the
course of those years it had carried millions of tons
of weight. But one day the driver of a logging truck
ignored the ten-ton load limit sign. The bridge
collapsed. Life's like that. All of us can carry our
"load limit" day after day, year after year, but only
one load at a time. Overload us and we collapse too.
Many readers will be familiar with the research Thomas
Holmes has done on stress. He found that too much
change at one time was the greatest cause of stress.
An accumulation of 300 or more "life changing units"
in any one year may mean an overload of more stress
than an individual can carry. On his scale, death of a
spouse equals 100 units, divorce 73, marital separation
65, marriage 50, and so on. (See the link to a
"Personal Stress Test" at end.)
Third. The next step in turning stress into success is
to recognize symptoms as early as possible.
Writing in Eternity magazine some time ago Fred
Stansberry talks about "stress-related diseases such
as cancer, arthritis, heart and respiratory diseases,
migraines, allergies and a host of other psychological
and physiological dysfunctions which are increasing at
an alarming rate in our Western culture."
Other symptoms of stress have been listed as, "tense
muscles, sore neck, shoulders and back, insomnia,
fatigue, boredom, depression, listlessness, dullness,
lack of interest, drinking too much, eating too much
or too little, diarrhea, cramps, flatulence,
constipation, palpitations--heart skip, phobias,
twitches, restlessness and itching."
Fourth. Identify causes. As already mentioned change
is one of the chief causes of stress. An accumulation
of life's everyday annoyances can also build up a
significant stress level--perhaps even more than one
single traumatic event. As the old saying puts it:
"It's the little things that bother us / and put us on
the rack / you can sit upon a mountain / but you can't
sit on a tack."
Whatever the cause of your stress is, be sure to
identify it so you will be in a position to do
something about it.
(To be continued)
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the wisdom
to know what I can do about my stressful situations,
and the good sense to do it. And help me to trust my
life to you in every situation in which I find myself.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
NOTE: See "A Personal Stress Test" at:
http://www.actsweb.org/stress_test.php.
1. Proverbs 14:30 (AMP).
<Smile)))><
Today's Daily Encounter
Turning Stress Into Success Part II
"Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about
everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to
thank him for his answers. If you do this you will
experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful
than the human mind can understand."1
In continuing our two-part series on handling stress
remember also what René Dubos said, "What happens in
the mind of man is always reflected in the disease of
his body."
The first four steps for turning stress into success
are: (1) Realize that some stress is helpful; (2) Be
aware that stress is only troublesome when it
continues for too long or if there is too much of it;
(3) Recognize symptoms as early as possible; and (4)
Identify causes. The fifth step in turning stress into
success is: Seek a practical cure.
1. The starting point to turn stress into success is
to lessen your load. Eighty percent of the cure can
come out of writing down all your cares and
responsibilities in order of priority, then
eliminating the least important.
2. Remember that Superman and Superwoman exist only in
comics and films. Everybody has a breaking point, so
recognize yours and call a halt before you reach your
limit.
3. With stress comes pent-up feelings. Get them "off
your chest" by sharing them with a trusted friend or
counselor. This of itself can bring immediate relief
and helps you to think and plan more objectively.
4. Stop fighting situations that can't be changed. As
one father told his impatient teenager, "If you would
only realize and accept the fact that life is a
struggle, things would be so much easier for you."
Learning to live with and get on top of struggles is
what helps us grow and mature.
5. Try to avoid making too many major life changes
during the course of a single year.
6. If you hold resentment towards another person,
resolve your differences right away. Never "let the
sun go down while you are still angry."2
7. Make time for rest and relaxation. Learn to "come
apart and rest a while before you come apart."
8. Watch your diet and eating habits. When under
stress we tend to overeat--especially junk food which
increases stress. A balanced diet of proteins,
vitamins, and fiber while also eliminating white
sugar, caffeine, too much fat, alcohol and nicotine is
essential for lowering stress and its effects.
9. Be sure to get plenty of physical exercise. This
keeps you healthier and helps burn up excess
adrenaline caused by stress and its accompanying
anxiety.
10. The ultimate answer to turning stress into success
is to learn to trust God and live in harmony with his
will for your daily life. Read again the words in
today's Bible verse above.
God's peace comes through accepting and trusting to
God those circumstances that can't be changed, however
difficult they may be. Perhaps this is what Christ
meant when he spoke of taking up our cross daily and
following him. Certainly he fully accepted his cross
and trusted his situation to God and thereby was
totally vindicated.
And so with us. If we take responsibility to do what
we can to lessen our stress load and then, like
Christ, take up our cross and daily commit and trust
our life and way to God, we too will turn our stress
into success, knowing that, in the words of the poet:
'Tis not the softer things of life
Which stimulate man's will to strive;
But bleak adversity and strife
Do most to keep man's will alive.
O'er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,
But brave hearts dare to climb the steep.3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please 'give me the
courage to change the things I can change, the
serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the
wisdom to know the difference.' And again, help me to
trust my life to you in every situation in which I
find myself. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).
2. Ephesians 4:26 (NIV).
3. Author Unknown
<Smile)))><
* * * * * * *
Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2010
ACTS International.
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