Stress and God

Being dyslexic, I find it difficult to type at any reasonable speed. Therefore, I have relied upon text-to-speech software for many years. 

These last few months, I had to purchase a new PC as my old one was over 15 years old and not working well. 

I had text-to-speech recognition installed software on the old computer, which I use for all my writing. But, unfortunately, the software had been lost and could not be reinstalled on my new computer because it was too old for windows 11.

That is when I discovered that windows 11 has software within the package. How delighted I am to write once again with dictation, and now I’ll be able to write more personal and reflective blogs.

Stress that is Destructive

I have always found typing stressful, and text-to-speech eliminates the stress altogether. It is just like sitting down and talking to you as if you were here with me in a normal conversation. The window is 11 Software package speech-to-text, which is very accurate and ended up only taking 5 minutes to adjust to my voice.

 The software only misses some words because of my Australian accent; however, overall it is very good.

Stress is a terrible thing. But, unfortunately, one of the blights of humanity is stress. We get ‘stressed out when we don’t achieve our plans for the day, or what we think we deserve, or when things go wrong. We’re a living contradiction. We are our worst enemy, working at cross purposes against our best interest. We want meaning, purpose, and peace of mind.

 Stress may affect our mind-body-soul connection, which may cause us to be socially withdrawn. When were highly stressed it is far easier not to be in the company of others, and be with oneself with one’s own thoughts. 

This is important to be solitary from time to time; however, to make a lifestyle of it will only guarantee loneliness and despair. Sometimes we live our complete life every minute of every day under great stress that we’re so used to the feeling of struggle that we accept it as normal. 

However, it is not normal, and that is why 1 Peter 5:7 encourages us to cast everything upon him because JESUS cares for us. The as he and other passages in the Bible indicate to us that the lord does not want us to be stressed out simply because it is not typical for any of us, whether we are believers or not, to live a stressful life.    New International Version

  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

 

Pleasure Relieves Stress

 Pleasure is a good thing, and we need to have some fun; however, it’s not the be-all, end-all that we imagine it to be, and we become disappointed with our life and can’t put our finger on why. But, again, it’s about expectations; we become stressed when they are unmet.

 For example, when we are having fun, and the pleasure we feel comes to an end, we want to chase after it, trying to create familiar feelings of joy. Sometimes we try to recreate experiences at a considerable cost to ourselves; we try to convert momentary pleasure into something permanent.  

When life goes wrong, we try to fix it by increasing the feel-good factor and striving to make it stay with us, but we can’t do it. So, when we are stressed, we search for ways to make ourselves happy, often unwisely.

 No matter how hard we try, we cannot make what is temporal permanent or make what is imagined real.    

We can’t get back our loved one who is gone, the job that fell through our fingers or even the children who have become adults and their lives absent from us.   

 Also, it’s worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its devastating toll, and we will never get back what we lost.  

Faith and Mindfulness

Several hundred years ago, along with other religions, Christianity began engaging the West in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.    

Although it was not named as such, that is precisely what it is; the aim, objective, and results are the same. In mindfulness practice, if one removes the idea of God, it still works. However, I prefer to still relate to God mindfully because it helps me to focus my mind, body, and spiritual person.

In its purest form, mindfulness is simply trust/faith in God’s ability to help you through whatever it is you are experiencing.   

 Faith is for the Now- Amplified Bible

 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed) and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

Mindfulness is also in the NOW.    It is about appreciating what is right in front of you- NOW.

And faith is trusting in God Now- not tomorrow that is hope- faith is NOW

The World Borrows God’s Ways.

Science is Good because God invented it. However, it’s such a shame that today the creator- God is taken out of the equation. The scientific evidence of the success of mindfulness in enhancing human life is overwhelming, and for those interested in their wellness, we cannot ignore it.    

Various professional disciplines and social movements, such as medicine and health care, psychology and brain science, and education at all levels, the law, business, leadership, and much more, enhance their practice by inserting mindfulness into their daily routine.

 Today’s mainstream medicine is developing an ever-growing interest in mindfulness-based intervention, such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).    

We can practice mindfulness for peace of mind and to relieve a wide range of chronic medical conditions.   

 It is much like snowmelt flowing inevitably downhill from a high mountain source, flowing around obstacles, finding many pathways under the gentle tug of gravity, and ultimately merging into significant river systems. The gravitational pull promises liberation from suffering and the potential safe harbour. 

The Whole Person

Christians often forget that we are holistic beings of mind, body and spirit, and God ministered to the whole person. Therefore, as humans, we need to prepare for spiritual awakening to embody well-being, greater wisdom, and wise action in our individual lives.

  In other words, mindfulness can become a normal and natural way to live your life, and the feeling of well-being is inevitable. Living a mindful life as Jesus Christ did would not end our frustrations but the beginning of successfully managing them. 

Jesus gave us the answer to our stress and said don’t chase after things that are here today and gone tomorrow, but rather, strive for eternal things. Eternal things are more satisfying, like top-quality peace, joy, and love, that only God can supply. Mindfulness can help us to pursue eternal things naturally and consistently by focusing on the NOW.

Trying to hold onto relationships or things that are gone will leave you stressed and keep you grieving for as long as you hold onto them. All human relationships, albeit long-term, are temporal and subject to the joys and pains of this life; our lives are so fragile and short. 

  The only permanent relationship that is forever is a relationship with God offered to us through Jesus Christ.  

In my work, I aim to empower others with education and motivation to help them make a purposeful and happy life in Jesus’s love.    

In addition, I enjoy helping you to set holistic wellness goals and provide resources, helping you determine which changes would make the most significant impact on your life.

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.

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Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

 Paula Rose Parish💕

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🖤Want to help support me as an author?

 ✔BOOKS BY PAULA available at AMAZON in the UK, USA, Aust;

📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses.

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

THE PEACE MAKER- the Church, Unity in Diversity and Peace of Mind

We hear a lot about Unity in the news. Countries desperately try to create Unity to put a halt to wars and factions. In our personal lives, we try to nurture Unity within our personal and work relationships for the sake of peace and productive life. We do not want the avoidable and unnecessary drama that bring more stress into our lives, so we seek peace in some way, shape or form. 

A peaceful life gives us the psychological space we need for good mental health. If we have good mental health, then we can better look after the needs of our bodies and Spirit. So living in peace is very important. The Bible I full of instructions on how to live in Unity; however, we run into problems when our diversity gets in the way of Unity. We face a dilemma, do we stick our heels in and refuse to budge, which runs the risk of unrest? Or, do we compromise for the sake of Unity? In this blog post, we are looking at the Christian views of Unity in diversity- so if that is something that interests you, please keep reading!

According to Wikipedia, Unity in diversity is an expression of harmony and Unity between dissimilar individuals or groups. It is a concept of “unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation” shifts focus from Unity based on a mere tolerance of physical, cultural, linguistic, social, religious, political, ideological and psychological differences to a more complex unity based on the understanding that difference enriches human interactions. The phrase is ancient and dates to ancient times in both Western and Eastern Old-World cultures. It has applications in many modern academic fields. The Christian Church has a similar idea of Unity in diversity but goes a step further as to its origins. The Christian vision of diversity is fundamental to two doctrines of Holy Scripture-

 (1) the Unity of the whole human race, 

(2) the universality of the Christian Church, as the Body of Christ

History shows that Christian communities face significant challenges in applying these truths and expressing the need for a changed heart to overcome the prejudice that dominates so many believers and non-believers. God teaches us in Holy Scripture that human beings are ONE (in completed Unity). Jesus said, ‘be as One as the Father and I are One, and Paul preached to the Athenian philosophers, “From ONE man God made every nation of the human race, that they should inhabit the whole earth”.

Human diversification receives its first mention in Genesis 1:27 “So God created the human race in his own image . . . male and female he made them.” The text’s singular term, “human race.”

(`Adam in Hebrew), is specified as diverse in gender, male and female. The idea of diversification is within the Cultural Mandate of Genesis 1:28:

“Be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it.” This divine command calls explicitly for the scattering of the race — a theme that shall recur in the Genesis story– and calls enthusiastically for cultural diversification.  It is within this greater context of Unity that humanity’s diversity reveals Gods love for all creation. Hence, it is clear that the Bible provides no approval of anti-multiculturalism as sometimes expressed in the world of dogmas.

The Enemy of Unity

 Different Christian denominations appeared through Cultural imperialism and prejudice of all kinds ends by shattering the human community into a thousand fragments. Each fragment becomes a subculture jealously defending its interests against all the others. From the beginning of time, this was not God’s plan but a result of selfish human pride.

Unity is Not the Same as Uniformity. 

Unity, in fact, is the reconciliation of differences and must nurture those differences for a healthy society to flourish. To forge a healthy Church and society. We must distinguish things and separate them, usually at a cost to ourselves, before we can spiritually unite them and make them work (Ephesians 2:14‒16). 

Perhaps if we had made that simple distinction between uniformity and true Unity, a big problem. Especially by those who overemphasized separate identities and individualism. The great wisdom of Pentecost is the recognition through the Spirit of an underlying unity amidst the many human differences! Paul made this universal principle very clear in several of his letters. For example, “(1 Corinthians 12:4–6). “There is a variety of gifts, but it is always the same Spirit. There are all sorts of services to be done, but always the same Lord, working in all sorts of different ways in different people. It is the same God working in all of them“.

We see this beautiful diversity and yet Unity in the the universe itself—from Latin, unus + versus meaning- “to turn around one thing.” Now, after the traumatic effect of the pandemic upon our lives, let’s pick up the pieces of our lives, to turn around anything that would promote the fragmenting of our lives, Church or society. 

Jesus Prays for All Believers

John 17: 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I also pray for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 in them and you in me—so that may bring them to complete Unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

As we continue to celebrate the season of Pentecost, let we also celebrate our Unity within our diversity and continue to love, respect, and learn from each other.

This is article is a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health.  It will be published and made available to you later in the year (2021) – so keep a lookout for that!

Also, If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your holistic-mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this! I am launching another website soon just dedicated to Holistic  mindfulness, so keep a look out for that going live! Please follow me here, or subscribe to my newsletter to get your updates on this.

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Paula Rose Parish