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January/February 2009 Jimmy Page Fit 4 Ever

Stressed Out

"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.”
– Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

It's almost impossible to find anyone who isn't feeling the pressure these days.

Stress doesn't care if you are young or old; it has the ability to weigh you down regardless of age, gender, race, political affiliation or socio-economic status. In fact, all studies confirm this.

Stress is something we all seem to have in common.

Our young people are more stressed than ever. Their time is booked from early in the morning to late at night with school, sports, homework and other activities. Almost everything is organized around the calendar, and much of the spontaneous play that the "older" generations enjoyed is gone. Add to that all of the latest technology gadgets — cell phones, instant messaging systems, the Internet, iPods and Facebook — and it all adds up to a mountain of noise!

In order to keep up with everyday life, our young adults are now making questionable choices with fast food and caffeinated energy drinks to keep them going.

For the adults, the stresses we face just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. With the struggling economy, decreasing job satisfaction and security, rising unemployment and increasing pressures on the family, it is easy to see why we are all feeling the heat.

The strange thing about all of this stress is that many of us aren't even aware of how it's affecting us.

Now, it is true that some stress can actually be good. If you are in danger, stress sparks a release of adrenaline and other hormones that causes your blood pressure and heart rate to rise and your lungs to take in more oxygen. These hormones can give you strength, energy and a heightened mental awareness for a short amount of time while you evaluate the situation. This level of stress can also be effective during competition and give you a higher level of intensity, reaction time and focus.

But when you are consistently under high levels of stress for prolonged periods of time, your body will break down. The steady production of the stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine has a direct effect on your ability to lose weight, handle your emotions and prevent disease such as heart disease, diabetes, mental disease and even cancer.

So, below are two lists that offer tactics to help you manage your stress from a physical and spiritual perspective.

The practical strategies below will help you relieve pressure and restore peace to your heart. And they will help to build your foundation on the One who holds everything in His hands!

Physical Tactics

1. Stabilize your blood sugar. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables, reduce the amounts of highly processed carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), and limit sodas, sweets and treats.
2. Eat smaller meals and frequent snacks. Prevent energy dips, food cravings, mood swings and overeating by grazing throughout the day.
3. Breathe deeply. Take a few moments throughout the day to purposefully breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose, hold your breath in, and then release through your mouth.
4. Add cardiovascular exercise. Make time for 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking or jogging per day.

Spiritual Tactics

1. Put on the full armor of God. Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, put on each piece of your spiritual armor from Ephesians 6.
2. Memorize God's Word. Memorize Scripture that specifically builds confidence in God's power. Try these:
          • Joshua 1:5-9
          • Proverbs 3:5-6
          • Isaiah 41:10-14, 43:1-3
          • Matthew 7:24-25
          • Philippians 4:6
3. Speak God's Word. Imitate the way that Jesus responded to the enemy by using God's Word — the sword of the Spirit — and speak it often.
4. Meditate on God's Word. Take the time to actually be still and engage with God.

--Want more? Catch Jimmy Page's 90-second "Fit Life Today" podcasts, now available at

Medical Disclaimer: All information in this article is of a general nature and is furnished for your knowledge and understanding only. This information is not to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to your specific health and medical condition. Always consult a physician or health professional before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.

Copyright 2007 Sharing the Victory Magazine

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