By Jimmy Page, Fellowship of Christian Athletes –
“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.
Adult Stress is Growing
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.
Consistent High Levels of Stress Will Break Your Body Down
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.
Physical and Spiritual Tactics to Help You Manage Stress
So, following 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!
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 through-
out 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.
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.
About the Author
For nearly 20 years, Jimmy Page was involved in various leadership roles in the medical fitness industry. As the former national director of FCA’s Health and Fitness Ministry, Page now serves as one of FCA’s 12 vice presidents of field ministry and is the co-author of the books WisdomWalks, WisdomWalks SPORTS and One Word That Will Change Your Life. He and his wife, Ivelisse, reside in Reisterstown, MD with their four children.
FCA in Kansas City
Interested in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes? For local ministry opportunities and events, visit Metro Kansas City FCA at kcfca.org or call (816) 892-1137 or contact the
National Support Center at (816) 289-0909
or (800) 289-0909.