Stress Levels

“The fruit of that righteousness¬†will be peace” Isa 32:17

Health activists in Japan say that overwork kills 30,000 workers every year in that country. They even have a word for it – “karoshi.” In America, fifty percent of all deaths each year are attributed to hypertension and stress related illnesses. Thirty percent of the population suffers from stress related health problems ranging from poor immune function to high blood pressure and heart disease. Under stress, our hearts race, muscles contract, arteries narrow, and our blood thickens. All these physical responses provide the rush you need that could help save your life in a life threatening encounter. But our bodies were not made to operate at these unrelenting levels 24 hours a day.¬†

stress relief

A recent study of successful professionals revealed that they practiced stress management techniques. Praying, walking on the beach, stroking the household pet, working out at the gym, or taking a long bubble bath all helped them to gain a sense of inner well being and peace. The important point was not that they were devoted to any one regimen, or that one technique worked for all people, but each person had discovered his or her own technique for relaxing.

Jesus promised His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, mt peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) The inner peace Jesus gives us does not mean we will never experience conflict or difficulty. The peace that Jesus gives is the peace of reconciliation with God, unity with other Christians, and living at peace with the world around us. Within that peace, we still need creative ways to letting the stress melt away from our lives. We need to learn new ways to relax.

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