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How Spirituality Can Help Stress

Posted by @hopeful33250, Jul 11, 2017

I recently read an article from Mayo Clinic about Spirituality and Stress Relief. Here is how the article began:

“Some stress relief tools are very tangible: exercising more, eating healthy foods and talking with friends. A less tangible — but no less useful — way to find stress relief is through spirituality.

What is spirituality?

Spirituality has many definitions, but at its core spirituality helps to give your life context. It’s not necessarily connected to a specific belief system or even religious worship. Instead, it arises from your connection with yourself and with others, the development of your personal value system, and your search for meaning in life.

For many, spirituality takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation or a belief in a higher power. For others, it can be found in nature, music, art or a secular community. Spirituality is different for everyone.” The complete article can be found at http://mayocl.in/2u8FOTm.

How has spirituality helped you to deal with stress?

Teresa

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REPLY

Glad you posted this article. Spirituality is definitely my stabilizing force. It began as a tiny ray of hope when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar and was admitted to the hospital. I must admit it has been a long road of accepting and learning, but I am grateful for the peace I now have. My spirituality is definitely focused on God, but includes so many great ways to live my life for Him and others. I believe we must learn to give up dwelling on our hurts that come from the past and worrying about the future. Trusting God in this present moment is all I need. May each of you find your way to peace and rest. 🙂

My spirituality is not focused on an outside entity. I do think belief in a god or other outside being can and does help some people listen to themselves better. I decided long ago that I had to rely on myself to be the guide in my life. Once I made that decision, I set out to learn about my emotional landscape and explore as many parts of myself as I could, sometimes with the assistance of a counselor when I got stuck. As I have listened to my inner guide, I have recognized that most of the restrictions or walls I run into are of my own making due to how I view myself. I also know that on occasion my illness has been an outgrowth of my fears about something in my life. I acted on a hunch that I needed antidepressants 6 years ago and talked to my PCP about it. He prescribed Celexa (I take Citalopram), and its one of the best things I have done. I lost many of my fears after that, and I continue to do well with the help of the medication.

I am aware that most of my physical problems are the result of misusing my body and taking it for granted over the years. My spiritual belief allows me to take responsibility for the situations (and body) I am in, and to look responsibly for resolutions. I view my health as being largely within my power to deal with, of course with the help of doctors, individuals with experience, and medications when needed. I decided to stop taking 2 pain medications recently and am happy I did so. That allowed me to experience my pain and look for alternative ways to handle it. I started A.R.T. (active release technique) therapy, and after 6 sessions, the pain in my right back, hip, leg, and ankle has resolved to the point that I have pain only at night very occasionally. I’m so pleased with the results. I now take only Tramadol 50mg 4 times a day. Once marijuana is approved at the Federal level, I will withdraw from Tramadol and only use cannabis as needed for pain. I don’t like taking Tramadol as I know I am dependent on it now.

My spiritual beliefs allow me the peace of knowing that I am responsible for myself. I’m not concerned about doing or not doing something that will displease an outside god or entity. I have my own values that include respect and love of myself and others, and trust in myself and in others, unless they prove they are untrustworthy. I don’t blindly follow or worship any one. I believe in honesty, and in accepting others as they are, and as they are not. I use meditation as a way to stay in touch with myself and let go of the outside world. I am at peace with myself and my beliefs. Thanks for asking Teresa.

Who cares where we get it from. I know that everyone is different and gets strength in different ways. Mine has always been from our Father. Now……many times you don’t get the answer right away but………stop……..listen….. he will come through for you. I also meditate and find I get a lot of answers because I am listening, still and waiting. God Bless you.
Patti

@liz223

Glad you posted this article. Spirituality is definitely my stabilizing force. It began as a tiny ray of hope when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar and was admitted to the hospital. I must admit it has been a long road of accepting and learning, but I am grateful for the peace I now have. My spirituality is definitely focused on God, but includes so many great ways to live my life for Him and others. I believe we must learn to give up dwelling on our hurts that come from the past and worrying about the future. Trusting God in this present moment is all I need. May each of you find your way to peace and rest. 🙂

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Thanks for sharing your faith- I agree, even those at times in life it’s still hard, but God is always there even when I feel broken. I don’t believe we can do it and be at peace without God. jjames.

My spirituality is centered in God and the work that Jesus did for us. If my faith were strong enough, I would have no stress or anxiety but even when my faith is weak, I know God is in control and will be with me. Without Him I could not face the tough days.

@ryman

My spirituality is centered in God and the work that Jesus did for us. If my faith were strong enough, I would have no stress or anxiety but even when my faith is weak, I know God is in control and will be with me. Without Him I could not face the tough days.

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I’m just echoing Ryman’s response. I’m totally on board with that. Growing up as I did, I was an extremely, “I can do it myself, I don’t need anyone’s help,” kid and adult. I trusted no one til they proved themselves trustworthy. But …. then as I like to put it, “God started to take the bricks out of my wall.” I know you probably don’t get that, but it’s too long a story to go into. Eventually, my wall became so weak, I knew my anxiety would eat me alive. “Just by chance” I happened to work for a Psychologist at the time who was a Christian. Little by little he shared with me – nothing earthshattering – just little tidbits from his own life. Now, I don’t believe in “coincidence” and I do not think it was a coincidence that I was working with the person who had exactly what I needed. Just take this Board for example …. is it a coincidence that when someone shares their story, it touches someone elses heart and a lightbulb goes on in their head? I think not. I won’t belabor this as we each must find our own way through this life, but one question we all much face some day ….. “what happens when we reach the end?”
Take care,
abby

@ryman

My spirituality is centered in God and the work that Jesus did for us. If my faith were strong enough, I would have no stress or anxiety but even when my faith is weak, I know God is in control and will be with me. Without Him I could not face the tough days.

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@amberpep In reply to your last question, because I try to live my life with love and integrity, I don’t worry about what happens when my life ends.

Also, I hope I didn’t leave anyone with the impression that I think I can do everything without help or that I am arrogant. No one who knows me would describe me that way. I will say that I grew up pretty much on my own without parents and guidance. I went thru a time period of not being close to or trusting anyone else. I was very religious at that time. However as I became more mentally healthy, I took down my walls, shared my vulnerability and learned to love and trust. It’s just that my decisions as a result of my experiences is different from those whose faith in God was deepened. I respect those who hold that belief.

@ryman

My spirituality is centered in God and the work that Jesus did for us. If my faith were strong enough, I would have no stress or anxiety but even when my faith is weak, I know God is in control and will be with me. Without Him I could not face the tough days.

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It’s always about finding inner peace and in turn being in a positive space.Getting rid of negativity can only be possible if one sits and meditate about things that drag is to a pit of hopelessness.In my opinion whatever brings a balance in our lives should be followed.Shouldn’t matter whether it’s religion or free thinking or a little bit of both.May you have a long and healthy life

I appreciate everyone’s respect for the different forms of spirituality expressed. Teresa

I agree one hundred percent with the fact that spirituality helps people out from the darkest fears and inconsolable losses.I lost my eldest child 5 years back few months after his twenty second birthday.My world turned upside down but I was always a spiritual person so even such a big loss could not drag me down to a place where I could not climb out.Granted I have days where I do feel low and listless but these moments don’t last for long. I have survived it only because of spirituality

Teresa, I wish I could post 10 likes to your last comment. I appreciate the same! It’s so refreshing to see people expressing their thoughts and feelings — and then there are no attacks by anyone afterwards! Thank you good people!

Christianity, along with most religions, and along with those in the mental health field, believes that every person is a trichotemy. That is, we are made up of 3 parts: body, mind and spirit (or soul). Each part plays an important role. The body without the mind would make a person totally dependent on others, and so on. Each part needs to be attended to. The 3 are interdependent. A sick body has a negative impact on the mind and spirit. Mental illness often affects the body. A person who tends to their spiritual self could find themselves feeling better in body and mind.

There’s so much literature about spiritually that it can be hard to know where to start. My starting point is the Bible, a book written by many people over a long period of time, as they learned to listen to and hear from God. They wrote down what they heard, both from God and from what was passed down from generation to generation, which was also originated by God. The focus of the Bible is directing the reader to God, and all that he is, with a culmination in Jesus being sent from heaven to earth as a demonstration of the intensity of God’s love for his creation, to show them by Christ’s life, death and teaching the way to return to the relationship with him that was enjoyed by man and woman before the relationship was contaminated by sin.

As we all know, volumes have been written about the condensed version I just wrote, and I’m not at all adequate to fully develop the Biblical story. I’m sure that many Christians would take issue with my words. It’s kind of like playing 3 notes and calling it Beethoven’s fifth Symphony, though if I were to play the right 3 notes, you all would recognize Beethoven’s famous composition. I can’t summarize any belief system in one paragraph.

All of that to make the simple point that tending our physical health, our mental health and our spiritual health is all important to becoming a balanced person.

Pardon the number of words. I, too, appreciate hearing the different approaches you all take to this question, without feeling it necessary to reject another’s viewpoint.

Jim

Here’s hoping that the picture I selected comes through! I saw this on Instagram today, Jason Gould posts the most thought provoking photos!!
The picture is how I feel taken care of and also how I care for ones that cross my path.
KISS is a good rule: Keep It Simple Silly!!
I am always taken care of and I know I am never alone. I love to take care of others. Things don’t always happen in a nice neat timeframe, but I know there is a scheduled time. Patience is so important.
Spirituality is helping each other through. Simple as can be, only looking to see if my behavior is right and letting others worry about theirs. Thank you everyone for your amazing thoughts!!!

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@lighthouseceliac

Here’s hoping that the picture I selected comes through! I saw this on Instagram today, Jason Gould posts the most thought provoking photos!!
The picture is how I feel taken care of and also how I care for ones that cross my path.
KISS is a good rule: Keep It Simple Silly!!
I am always taken care of and I know I am never alone. I love to take care of others. Things don’t always happen in a nice neat timeframe, but I know there is a scheduled time. Patience is so important.
Spirituality is helping each other through. Simple as can be, only looking to see if my behavior is right and letting others worry about theirs. Thank you everyone for your amazing thoughts!!!

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@lighthouseceliac What a great word picture, thanks for sharing! Teresa

@abida

I agree one hundred percent with the fact that spirituality helps people out from the darkest fears and inconsolable losses.I lost my eldest child 5 years back few months after his twenty second birthday.My world turned upside down but I was always a spiritual person so even such a big loss could not drag me down to a place where I could not climb out.Granted I have days where I do feel low and listless but these moments don’t last for long. I have survived it only because of spirituality

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@abida You have been through a tragic and significant loss, abida. Would you care to share more about your spirituality and how it helped you through this time? Teresa

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