Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

July 30, 2012

A Positive Minute: Life and stress

Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Proverbs 12:25 "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good work makes it glad."

I so enjoy the relevance of the scripture. We hear and see the advertisements for many churches who declare, "Relevant messages for you and your family," or something like that. That is a very true statement, especially if they are using scripture for the basis of their ministry, and I certainly hope that is the case.

We have become a society that demands relevant input. What will I gain from spending my precious time attending this church or listening to the audio feed? We want to know that we will receive something valuable from the time we invest.

The passage from Proverbs is great as it pinpoints humanity and what will happen if we do not deal with the stressors of this life. I learned this principle early on in my psychology studies: Unresolved stress/anxiety will lead to depression. I was elated to know the American Psychological Association has an agreement with the Bible.

The scripture also teaches in Proverbs 19:21 (NIV): "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

There are those little thieves all around us that steal from us everyday. They are sly and stealthy, but they do steal joy, happiness, and even try to destroy our vision for life. The good news is, if we make sure our plans coincide with God's plans, those plans will succeed.

Psalm 28:7 gives us an understanding which we need to practice: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him."

Do you want to relieve the stress in your life? Here are a few tips known as the Six R's For Stress Management:

RESPONSIBILITY: You are in control, establish priorities, keep it simple.

REFLECTION:  Know your stress triggers, be aware of stress symptoms, check your balance in life.

RELAXATION: Do something good for yourself, schedule "worry time," schedule time out, schedule prayer time in order to alleviate the "worry time."

RELATIONSHIPS: Maintain supportive relationships, manage your relationships, improve your relationships with yourself.

REFUELING: Eat a balance diet with high fiber, low cholesterol. Be aware of poisons: Caffeine, fats, nicotine, fast food, drink lots of water.

RECREATION: Laugh and love, learn how to have fun with your family, enjoy your life and treat others the way you want to be treated.

John 10:10 New King James Version, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

Each of the situations that steal from you is not from God; It's a thief.

Our justice system deals with thieves and so does God. Give the Lord an opportunity to resolve those issues that have developed. Most of our situations have had a head start on us and it takes courage, bravery and a "standing your ground" kind of attitude to overcome the stressors that will cause the onset of depression.

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Start your NEW journey TODAY. If you desire some direction with a new start, contact me. I would like to help you get through the tough stages of your life.

Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church, and author and broadcaster. He may reached at 812-662-5154 or through www.faithandcourage.net.