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  • Stress is the wear and tear our minds and
    bodies experience as we attempt to cope with our
    continually changing environment
  • Stress is our bodys physical and emotional
    reaction to circumstances or events that
    frighten, irritate, confuse, endanger, or excite
    us and place demands on the body

What is a Stressor?
  • A stressor is a chemical or biological
    agent, environmental condition, external
    stimulus or an event that causes stress to an

Types of Stress
  • The purpose of our discussion today is to help us
    recognize and deal more effectively with the
    negative stressors in our lives

What creates stress?
  • Stress can be caused by events that are pleasing
    as well as events that create crisis in our
  • Change causes stressgood change or bad change
    For example, the birth of a baby, working toward
    a professional exam can create stress. trying to
    fulfil the requirements of ones manager, getting
    married, or planning a birthday party for a
    family member.

  • FUDFear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
  • Expectationsours or those around us.
  • Attitude/Perceptionhow does our individual
    mental/physical health factor into whats
    distressing us?
  • Beliefs
  • Overworkparticularly over long periods.
  • Isolationlack of information/communication.
  • Durationchronic stressors.

Sources of Stress
  • The Environment
  • Social
  • Physiological
  • Thoughts

  • It is somewhat hard to categorize stressors into
    objective lists of those that cause positive
    stress and those that cause negative stress,
    because different people will have different
    perceptions and reactions to particular
  • However, by generalizing, we can compile a list
    of stressors that are typically experienced as
    positive or negative to most people, most of the

Examples of positive personal stressors
  • Receiving a promotion at work
  • Starting a new job
  • Marriage or commitment ceremony
  • Buying a home
  • Having a child
  • Moving
  • Taking or planning a vacation
  • Holiday seasons
  • Retiring
  • Taking educational classes or learning a new

Examples of negative stressors
  • Bankruptcy/money problems
  • Unemployment
  • Sleep problems
  • Childrens problems at school
  • Inadequate or substandard housing
  • Excessive job demands
  • Job insecurity
  • Commuting and travel schedules
  • Conflicts with team mates and supervisors
  • Lack of training necessary to do a job
  • Making presentations in front of colleagues or
  • Unproductive and time-consuming meetings

  • The death of a partner
  • Filing for divorce
  • Losing contact with loved ones
  • The death of a family member
  • Injury or illness (oneself or a family member)
  • Being abused or neglected
  • Separation from a spouse or committed
    relationship partner
  • Conflict in interpersonal relationships
  • Hospitalization (oneself or a family member)

Common internal sources of distress
  • Fears (e.g., fears of flying, heights, public
    speaking, chatting with strangers)
  • Repetitive thought patterns
  • Worrying about future events (e.g., waiting for
    medical test results or job restructuring)
  • Unrealistic or perfectionist expectations
  • Habitual behaviour patterns that can lead to
    stress include
  • Over scheduling
  • Failing to be assertive
  • Failing to set and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Procrastination and/or failing to plan ahead

Effects of Stress
  • Feeling stressed can have a multiplying effect.
  • For example, losing patience with friends or
    family members, when whats really stressing us
    is something at work.
  • When we live with stress over time it can begin
    to feel normal. We may raise our tolerance, but
    eventually it will take its toll.
  • If we recognize any of the following physical or
    mental symptoms of stress, try to identify their

  • Tight Musclesusually in the neck, shoulders, or
    jaw or other nervous habits.
  • Headacheor gastrointestinal upset
  • Sombre Moodhumourless, difficulty smiling,
    laughing or lightening up.
  • Tirednesslack of energy or enthusiasm.
  • Sleepdifficulty sleeping, or difficultly going
    back to sleep.
  • Temperamentirritable, easily angered,
    anti-social behaviour.
  • Emotionalinappropriate outbursts.
  • Anxietyexcessive, unable to move on.

  • Appetitesome research indicates appetite
    increases in response to short term stress and
    decreases in response to stress over a long
  • Skin conditionschronic conditions like eczema
    and alopecia are aggravated by stress.
  • Excessincreased use of caffeine, alcohol,
    tobacco, pain relievers or other drugs.

  • Long term stress will eventually affect
    attitude, attendance and attrition at work.
  • Unchecked, it can lead to an impaired immune
    system or other, even more serious health
    conditions like cardiovascular disease (stroke
    etc) or cancer

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Stress Management
What Does the Bible Say About Coping With Stress?
  • The Bible is God's instruction manual for life.
  • It provides the answers and gives us comfort,
    peace and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
  • Can the Bible really show us how to deal with our
    stress, regardless of our situation?
  • Let's look at some specific biblical principles
    that can help us cope with stress.

Does God show us how to reduce stress?
  • Philippians 48 Finally, brethren, whatever
    things are true, whatever things are noble,
    whatever things are just, whatever things are
    pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things
    are of good report, if there is any virtue and if
    there is anything praiseworthymeditate on these
  • When negative experiences and situations are
    coming at us, and when it seems overwhelming,
    then stop, take a deep breath and simply take
    time to focus on something lovely and good.
    Overcoming stress starts with the ability to
    control our thoughts. We need to focus on the
    positive, uplifting things of God.

Can God help if my problems seem overwhelming?
  • Mark 1027 But Jesus looked at them and said,
    "With men it is impossible, but not with God for
    with God all things are possible.
  • Even if we can't change something, God can. Do we
    believe that? Have we ever thought about asking
    God to help us change a situation that is causing
    us stress?

How can I find comfort in dealing with the
trouble and stress in my life?
  • 2 Corinthians 13-4 Blessed be the God and Father
    of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies
    and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all
    our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort
    those who are in any trouble, with the comfort
    with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
  • God promises to comfort us in our times of
    stress. How about trying to be a comfort to
    someone else who may be going through greater
    difficulties than we are? Giving comfort or
    helping someone in another way usually brings
    satisfaction and joy to the giver. There is more
    happiness in giving than in receiving" (Acts
    2035). Part of coping with stress is learning to
    put it in the right perspective.

Can I expect my life to be more peaceful if I ask
God for help?
  • Colossians 315 And let the peace of God rule in
    your hearts, to which also you were called in one
    body and be thankful.
  • God's plan is to bring peace to a troubled world
    at the return of Jesus Christ. We can have that
    peace now if we follow His plan for peace. It
    involves a lifestyle change and a change in our
    hearts. Peace is part of the fruit of God's Holy
    Spirit (Galatians 522).

Is there hope even if I feel like I've reached my
limit in a very serious, stressful situation?
  • 1 Corinthians 1013 (Good News Translation) Every
    test that you have experienced is the kind that
    normally comes to people. But God keeps his
    promise, and he will not allow you to be tested
    beyond your power to remain firm at the time you
    are put to the test, he will give you the
    strength to endure it, and so provide you with a
    way out.
  • Consider biblical examples of people facing
    severe trials. Whatever the trial, when they
    asked God for help, He provided the strength and
    help for them to bear it. Jesus Christ Himself
    was "in agony" and "His sweat became like great
    drops of blood falling down to the ground" as He
    prayed before His crucifixion (Luke 2244). God
    strengthened Him, and God will strengthen us as
    well when we ask.

Why do I have to put up with so much stress in my
life? Why doesn't God just take it away when I
ask Him?
  • 1 Peter 412-13  Beloved, do not think it strange
    concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,
    as though some strange thing happened to you but
    rejoice to the extent that you partake of
    Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is
    revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding
  • James 12-4  My brethren, count it all joy when
    you fall into various trials, knowing that the
    testing of your faith produces patience. But let
    patience have its perfect work, that you may be
    perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
  • We need to believe there is a reason for our
    trials and that God is in control. God is not far
    off and unconcerned. He really is working in our
    lives to transform us from what we are into what
    He wants us to become. We need to accept trials
    and tests and understand what they are doing for

What is the ultimate purpose of my stressful
  • 1 Timothy 23-4 For this is good and acceptable
    in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all
    men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of
    the truth.
  • 1 Peter 510 But may the God of all grace, who
    called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
    after you have suffered a while, perfect,
    establish, strengthen, and settle you.
  • We go through stressful trials for a reason God
    is working with us! He was working with Joseph
    when he was at the bottom of a well and when he
    was in an Egyptian prison. Joseph had a reason to
    be stressed out. When Daniel was in the lion's
    den, he, too, had a reason to be stressed out.
    When Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were facing
    their fiery trial, they also had a reason to be
    stressed out. But they kept going and obeying
    God. They faced their doubts and fears. They
    didn't collapse in self-pity and wonder why God
    was allowing this to happen to them. When we come
    to realize that there is a divine purpose for our
    trials, then the stress of dealing with them
    should diminish.

Can I have confidence that God understands my
  • Romans 835, 38-39 Who shall separate us from the
    love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress,
    or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or
    peril, or sword?...
  • Hebrews 415 For we do not have a High Priest who
    cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in
    all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  • Whatever trial we're going through, it should not
    separate us from the love of God. He understands!
    Jesus Christ knows what it's like to be human. He
    loves us. Lets ask God to help us learn the
    lesson He has for us. Lets ask God to help us
    build His character through our trials. There is
    nothing wrong with letting God know we're having
    trouble and we need His help. He wants us to
    trust Him?to rely on Him for help.

Turning Stress into Peace
  • We all need techniques to manage stress. This
    need is intrinsic to the human condition
  • In Philippians 44-9 Paul teaches us how to turn
    pressure to our advantage. This passage is
    essential reading for any person under pressure
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again
    Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.
    The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about
    anything, but in everything, by prayer and
    petition, with thanksgiving, present your
    requests to God. And the peace of God, which
    transcends all understanding, will guard your
    hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Finally, brothers, 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

4 Lessons from this passage
  • 1. Define perspective. Only when the perspective
    described in Philippians 31-46 is adopted does
    Pauls rejoice (v. 4) ring true. Our present
    circumstances must be contextualized into the
    bigger story, which is Gods story.
  • 2. Be gentle (v. 5). A person under the effects
    of stress is like a car in which the driver has
    one foot on the accelerator and the other on the
    brake. Again be gentle. Gentleness does not
    imply becoming a doormat Christ was gentle
    without being weak. Gentleness implies having
    great power under control.

  • 3. Trust God. The words in verses 5-7 are worth
    memorizing or printing out and posting on our
    desktop or calendar. If there was a machine that
    could turn anxiety into peace, it would make its
    inventor a billionaire. Yet God has given us the
    recipe for doing just this.
  • 4. Live ethically (vv. 8-9). How much stress is
    generated by fear of being found out? Ethical
    people experience less stress. Being truthful is,
    in many ways, its own reward. It makes sense if
    for no other reason than because of its
    stress-reducing properties.

In addition
  • Strive for a healthy, adequate diet. Think of
    food as something to nourish your body.
  • Assess your current diet, make reasonable,
    incremental improvements and repeat.
  • If you drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages,
    use moderation. The same goes for donuts and
    other sugary treats.

  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Many enclosed environments like offices,
    automobiles, and airplanes especially, are arid.
  • The water will flush toxins, and get us up and
    moving for more bathroom breaks too

  • The benefits of exercise are well documented.
  • A workout provides immediate stress relief
    through the release of pent up energy.
  • Like meditation, it can also focus all our
    thoughts in the moment, relieving our mind from
    its stressors.
  • Longer term, it improves our bodys ability to
    handle some of the negative effects of stress.

  • Like nutrition, ensure our mind and body get the
    rest they require.
  • A proper nights sleep, regularly, helps
    alleviate stress and helps us to be more
    creative, energetic and positive

  • Good posture and good ergonomics when working at
    a computer for extended periods, will help fend
    off fatigue, physical stress and potential
  • If possible, work at a raised workstation so one
    can switch between sitting and standing

Emotional Health
  • When something stressful occurs, try to consider
    the long term perspective instead of reacting
    with a short term response.
  • Take the high road. Cope with stress, with
    maturity and intelligence, rather than emotion.
    It will help you lessen the stressors effect on

  • Perfection is an ideal, not a reality. Aim to
    improve, not to be perfect. Accept where you are
    at this moment, unequivocally.
  • Embrace your flaws as comfortably as your
    strengths. Then begin a realistic, incremental
    plan of improvement.
  • Unconditional self-acceptance is a wonderful
    stress buster. Try it.

  • Watch your language. The way you talk to yourself
    is a great indicator of the pressure you put on
  • When you present to a group, notice the
    difference between, I hope to do well, versus
    I expect to do well.
  • If things go less than perfect, notice the
    difference between, I need to practice more next
    time, versus I made a mess of that.
  • We are often our own harshest judge. Why not be
    your own best coach?

Seek Help
My Concluding Words
Manage Stress Like A
Remember these words
Skills are for me to use
Prepare and be in the Present
Operate like a top athlete
Rebound from adversity
Take time outs
Seek out support and coaches
Lessons From Champions
  • They know how to be composed and cool
  • They know how to handle pressure

  • Champions know how to -
  • Slow down
  • Loosen up
  • Focus
  • Chill out
  • Take a time out
  • Go with the flow

Manage Stress Like A Champ
  • Champions practice -
  • Deep breathing
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Praying

Listen To Your Coach!
For us, The COACH is the BIBLE
4 S for stress management
  • S sense your limit
  • S simplify your life
  • S share the load
  • S seek the Lord

  • The world seems to be increasingly
    stress-inducing. In order to manage that stress
    and channel it into a healthy lifestyle, we must
    take the offer of Gods sabbath rest seriously.
  • We must reclaim the perspective that sees God as
    sovereign and in charge. We must take all our
    anxiety and cast it on him, because he cares for
    us more than we can imagine (1 Peter 57).

Remember to manage stress like a
Thank you for Listening