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De-Stressing Through Spirituality

Most of us say it. Maybe you said it today: “I am so stressed out!” But what really is stress. Stress or the “stress response is Image of nurse.also known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction. It is the automatic alarm system that prompts your body to release a flood of hormones namely adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones temporarily increase blood pressure, elevate heart rate, and constrict arteries. When it happens repeatedly with no relief, it can be hard on your body.


Over time, repeated exposure to stress can cause:

  • Sleep patterns
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Immune system problems

We all know that exercise, rest, healthy diet and relaxation techniques can all help “manage” stress. But can we “reduce” it with spirituality? You may want to consider these possible benefits of using spirituality for decreasing stress:

  • When you discover what is meaningful in your life you won’t want to waste your energy on unimportant things.
  • Find an inner peace when you stay connected to the world even if you are alone.
  • Give up responsibilities and control over everything in life and that will free you to enjoy life’s blessings as well as share life’s burdens with people around you.
  • Share you spiritual expression with a support network of family and friends, which will help you build relationships.

    Prayer can help you feel more connected to God, leaving you with a calmer, safer, more grounded feeling that can act as a buffer against stress.

    Gratitude toward God has been linked with improved health outcomes and can reduce the experience of stress as well. Keep a gratitude journal to express what you are grateful for.

    Those who have a greater trust in God may be more optimistic. Having trust that there is always another option available can help you develop more sense of control and more trust in your own abilities.

    Those who are more spiritual have the benefit of seeing stressful situations as tests of strength, or even as a valuable lesson from God. This finds more effective ways to cope, “turning a difficult situation into a path to a better life or greater personal growth.”
    What you focus on or the energy you put out is what you attract. If you focus on your frustrations or on negativity, then you will attract negativity. If you focus on what you want out of life or positivity, then you will let positive energy in.

    Take a day off. Once a week, take a day NOT to shop, watch television, or participate in business. This is a day to refresh by walking, writing letters, arranging flowers, reading, cooking a meal that is better than usual, loving yourself and all the life around you. The world will survive without you and you will be the richer for the day.


©2007 St. James Catholic Church, Hopewell, VA