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Kill Stress Now! You Can Do It!

Life is full of stressful situations. Whether you have stepped in front of a speeding bicycle or are bombing a job interview, there is a chain reaction that is triggered--a deadly chain reaction. Kill stress before stress kills you.
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Kill Stress Now! You Can Do It!

3/5/2015 (Topic#: 1506)

There is no joy like the joy of the Lord.  There is no peace like God’s peace.  There is no purpose like God’s eternal purpose.  There is no power like God’s power.  There are no promises like God’s promises.  There is no God but Jehovah and there is no Savior but Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son.  Life devoid of this God is to be amongst the walking dead.  God’s Word speaks of the redeemed in Ephesians 2:1:

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:

Have you been born again?  Are you ready to be raised from the dead?  Are you ready to have all your sins and shame washed away?  Do you desire to be set free from all of your bondages?  Today is your day of salvation. Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the supernatural Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Isaiah 26:3:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

GOD SAID, Matthew 11:28-30:

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

GOD SAID, Philippians 4:6-7:

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

GOD SAID, Romans 12:2:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

MAN SAID: The God of the Bible is not the God today’s enlightened society wants or needs. 

Now THE RECORD: Everything is literally made out of words.  The words we dote upon, the words we embrace, will dictate our day, our month, our careers, and even our eternity.  Stress, sickness, disease, hatred, bitterness, and the like, are all a product of words, and therefore, with words, all negative conditions can be reversed.  When a child of God mixes the Word of God with faith, all things are possible.  Truly, “death and life are in the power of the tongue:” (Proverbs 18:21). 

GodSaidManSaid has published a treasure trove of features concerning the marvels of words.  Many of these features address the issue of stress and, yes, words are the remedy.  The March 2015 cover of Popular Science reads, “Stress.  It’s Killing You,” and inside, they devote 10 pages to the subject.  When statisticians claim 75-90% of all visits to the doctor (GP) are stress-related, paying attention to stress makes good sense.  Numbers published in the Popular Science feature report that:

  • 37% of U.S. adults feel overwhelmed by stress.
  • 24% of women report extreme stress versus 17% of men.
  • 30% of U.S. adults say stress strongly impacts their physical health.
  • 33% say that stress strongly impacts their mental health.

If you are a frequent visitor to GodSaidManSaid, you are aware of stress issues and of the certain cure.  The information in this feature will not be new to you, but is certainly necessary to revisit often.   Excerpts from “Stress.  It’s Killing You” follow:

“Stress, in the broadest sense, is a word we give to the experiences in our daily life, how we interpret them, and how we respond to them.”

—Bruce McEwen, neuroscientist, Rockefeller University

Life is full of stressful situations.  Whether you’ve stepped in front of a speeding bicycle or are bombing a job interview, here’s the chain reaction that’s triggered.

  1. ALARM SIGNAL: When you hear, see, or otherwise perceive a threat, nerve signals whisk the message to your brain
  2. BRAIN TRIGGER: The signals reach the amygdala—a brain region that helps with decision-making and the regulation of emotions.  The amygdala in turn alerts the hypothalamus, which controls hormone production.
  3. HORMONE CASCADE: The fast-acting part of the nervous system releases adrenaline.  Meanwhile, the hypothalamus produces corticotrophin-releasing hormone, initiating a sequence that finishes with the production of the stress hormone cortisol. 
  4. MESSENGERS: Cortisol, epinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline), and other chemicals enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.
  5. THE KEY MASTER: Nearly all cells—in all organs and tissues—are studded with proteins called glucocorticoid receptors.  Cortisol fits into them like a key to a lock.
  6. RESPONSE: Cortisol boosts blood sugar.  Epinephrine makes the heart pound, increasing the oxygen flowing into major muscles.  You’re primed for fight or flight. 

Under the heading, “Signs of Strain:”

  • HEART RATE: Your heart races in tense situations, which may be one of the reasons Tulane University researchers found heart attacks were three times as common in New Orleans post-Katrina.
  • BLOOD PRESSURE: Notice that your forehead vein throbs when you’re about to blow up?  Stress boosts the force against the artery walls as the heart pumps blood.
  • HORMONES: Changes in cortisol and other hormones register in your saliva, indicating not only stress, but according to a recent study, possibly also how well you respond to it.
  • INFLAMMATORY MARKERS: Thinking about stressors can actually increase inflammation and the level of inflammatory markers, such as c-reactive protein, circulating in the bloodstream.
  • ALLOSTATIC LOAD: A fancy word for the toll taken by all of your chronic stresses, as measured by the cumulative wear and tear on the cardiovascular system and other organs.

Under the following paragraph headings, the feature continues:

NERVOUS SYSTEM: The brain changes in response to experiences and the environment.  This is especially true in childhood, when key structures—such as the amygdala, involved in the fight-or-flight center—develop. 

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: Both chronic stress and stress-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression, increase the risk for heart disease, although scientists are not entirely sure why.  According to the American Heart Association, stress may indirectly influence cardiovascular health through high blood pressure as well as unhealthy behaviors, including overeating and smoking.  And the shock of sudden, intense stress, such as the death of a partner, can rapidly weaken the heart, possibly because of a surge of stress hormones.  The phenomenon is called broken heart syndrome. 

DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: The brain and the digestive tract are in constant communication, says Emeran Mayer, a gastroenterologist at UCLA.  Unsurprisingly, chronic stress is associated with painful gastrointestinal issues.  According to Mayer’s research, some patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) show abnormal levels of cortisol and cortisol-stimulating hormones. 

CELLS: Nearly every cell has chromosomes, and the tip of each one is capped by a bit of genetic material; each time a cell divides, these telomeres shorten.  When they run out, the cell dies.  The chronically stressed have unusually short telomeres, putting them at risk for many age-related illnesses. 

IMMUNE SYSTEM: According to research by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a clinical psychologist at the Ohio State College of Medicine, vaccines are less effective when we’re stressed, and wounds take longer to heal.  Research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that stress even makes us more vulnerable to the common cold. 

METABOLIC SYSTEM: High cortisol levels boost the amount of fat around the belly.  Extra abdominal fat may increase the risk for diabetes, which in turn may impair the stress response in the brain, says Antonio Convit, a psychiatrist at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research.  [End of quotes]

Several paragraphs from GodSaidManSaid features concerning this subject follow:

◊ From the GodSaidManSaid feature, “Immortality Keeps on Knocking—Part 2 (It Happened on the Inside):”

  • March 22, 2004, WebMD, “Anger, frustration, and other mental stress can trigger abnormal heart rhythms that may lead to sudden death, new research shows.”
  • Under the heading “Bad Attitude,” October 2003 Better Nutrition magazine, “Researchers have consistently suggested that people with negative attitudes suffer significantly higher rates of stress, depression, and disease.”
  • September 24, 2003, WebMD, “As if life isn’t stressful enough, Swedish researchers say that being under stress may double a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.”

Stress is a killer, and God’s plan for shifting stress is truly life and life more abundantly.  Coming unto God in prayer and mixing the Word of God with faith yields phenomenal results.  Concerning prayer, a subhead in a March 2006 article in the magazine First reads, “The silent dialogue proven to reduce stress-hormone levels by 40%—and melt away 36% more body fat.”  The following is an excerpt from that article:

To understand the mechanism behind the miracle, we turned to world-renowned expert Harry G. Koening, M.D., of Duke University and co-author of The Healing Power of Prayer (Baker Books, 2003).  “An ongoing dialogue with a higher power calms the amygdala, the brain’s stress-serenity command center,” he explains.  “It also increases activity of the brain’s soothing alpha waves.  This prevents the adrenal glands from releasing a flood of harmful cortisol.”  In fact, a study from the Shimane Institute of Health Science in Japan found that this type of calming activity reduced cortisol by up to an astounding 40 percent. 

That can translate into major weight loss, maintains Shawn Talbot, Ph.D., author of The Cortisol Connection (Hunter House, 2002):  “In my research, those who reduced cortisol by 20 percent lost nine times more weight, including 18 percent more body fat and 9 percent more belly fat.” [End of quotes]

◊ From GodSaidManSaid, “Unlock and Develop God''s Brain Power:”

Not only is the human brain equipped with Godlike—and therefore ever-expanding—capabilities, but He created us to interact with Him. 

New research published in 2009 in Newberg and Waldman’s book, How God Changes Your Brain, sheds additional light on the subject of neuroplasticity.  The following excerpts are from Newberg and Waldman’s book:

Contemplating God will change your brain, but I want to point out that meditating on other grand themes will also change your brain.  If you contemplate the Big Bang, or immerse yourself in the study of evolution—or choose to play a musical instrument, for that matter—you’ll change the neural circuitry in ways that enhance your cognitive health.  But religious and spiritual contemplation changes your brain in a profoundly different way because it strengthens a unique neural circuit that specifically enhances social awareness and empathy while subduing destructive feelings and emotions.  This is precisely the kind of neural change we need to make if we want to solve the conflicts that currently afflict our world.  And the underlying mechanism that allows these changes to occur relates to a unique quality known as neuroplasticity: the ability of the human brain to structurally rearrange itself in response to a wide variety of positive and negative events. 

If we combine all of the research on neuroplasticity, we must conclude that neurons do not have fixed properties or positions.  Instead, they are changing all the time, triggered by competition, environmental changes, and education.

So what does neuroplasticity have to do with God?  Everything, for if you contemplate something as complex or mysterious as God, you’re going to have incredible bursts of neural activity firing in different parts of your brain.  New dendrites will rapidly grow and old associations will disconnect as new, imaginative perspectives emerge. [End of quotes]

You can change your mind—first spiritually, then physically. 

◊ GodSaidManSaid, “Let''s Change Our Brains:”

Harnessing the power of God’s creative Words heals the mind and the body, and empowers one to set a course for life—life more abundantly, even unto eternal life.

In the November 2013 issue of Discover magazine, a six-page feature was published under the heading of “In Defense of Free Will,” with the sub-head, “A treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder suggests we can use the power of our thoughts to rewire our brains and direct our fate.”  Several paragraphs follow:

Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz got a phone call at 3 p.m., a script before 5 p.m., and the next afternoon, he was there, sitting with Leonardo DiCaprio, exploring the intricacies of one of the most debilitating mental illnesses in medicine. 

DiCaprio was tackling the role of Howard Hughes in The Aviator, a part requiring him to arc—as Hughes did—from genius billionaire to shaggy recluse, caught in the grip of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Schwartz’s books, Brain Lock, and The Mind and the Brain, had established him as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the underlying mechanisms and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition that plagues sufferers with unreasonable thoughts and fears, which in turn compel repetitive behavior.

DiCaprio left The Aviator with an Oscar-nominated performance and perhaps a mild case of the disease.  It reportedly took him about a year to get back to normal.  And today, his willful descent into the illness and subsequent recovery represents one of the most dramatic public examples in our popular culture of neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change in shape, function, configuration, or size.  But Schwartz says mainstream science has yet to come to grips with an experience like DiCaprio’s, based on what Schwartz calls “self-directed neuroplasticity,” the ability to rewire your brain with your thoughts.  This kind of power doesn’t only rescue his patients, he says.  It rescues free will. [End of quote]

◊ The following paragraphs are from the GodSaidManSaid feature, “The Formula for Killing Stress:”

When I was a young lad growing up in the 1950s, the idea of stress was not part of the mental landscape.  Things were much less complicated then.  If you had a TV, it was black and white, and it had one to three channels to select from.  If you did not have a TV, you had a radio in the living room with a handful of stations to choose from.  If your family had a car—and it was only one car—you waited for dad to come home from work if any extracurricular activities were to happen. None of those extracurricular activities fell on the Lord’s Day because on the Lord’s Day, the family loaded into the car in their Sunday best and went to church.  We didn’t have a 24-hour, non-stop news cycle revealing—as well as exaggerating—every imaginable problem the world over.  Today, you are exposed to hundreds of choices on TV and radio, and millions on the World Wide Web—literally a flood of words—and a large percentage of them are very bad for your health.  When one understands that everything is literally made out of words, and that your DNA constructs the body using a four-letter alphabet made of words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and volumes, it elucidates the Biblical revelation found in Proverbs 18:20-21:

20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Stress is a killer, and because God’s Word promises the faithful abundant life (John 10:10), He spends considerable time in the Scriptures teaching us to handle stressful situations.  With the use of childlike faith, we can actually effectively shift stress to the shoulders of Jesus Christ.  Matthew 11:28-30:

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Childlike faith rests in the inerrant absolutes of the Word of God.  If Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” then my childlike faith reframes the negative pictures in my life and calls them good.  The field of psychology knows this concept as “positive reframing.”  If Proverbs 4:18 reads, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” then my childlike faith says I’m getting brighter and sharper, especially in the face of contradiction.  With the two Scriptures, the childlike say “everything is working to my good, especially the negative circumstances, and I am getting brighter and sharper every day.”  That means today is the best day of my life and tomorrow will be better.  That shifts a whole lot of stress.  Keep in mind that with no Goliaths, there are no trophies; with no battles, there are no victories.  Try on these magnificent words for stress-shattering power: Mark 11:22-25:

22 And Jesus answering saith unto him, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Stress is a killer and shifting it is imperative.  The headline in the June 2012 issue of Life Extension reads, “New Reason to Avoid Stress,” written by Michael Downey.  A few paragraphs follow:

Scientists have made an alarming discovery—higher stress levels can cause accelerated shortening of telomeres.

In a recently published study, researchers found that depression-related stress results in the significant shortening of telomeres—the caps at the ends of chromosomes—an indication of accelerated aging! 

The publication of this study emphasizes the importance of minimizing the impact of internal and environmental stress on the body. 

Telomeres are protective DNA molecules.  Often compared to the plastic caps on the ends of shoelaces, telomeres are found on the ends of coiled pieces of DNA known as chromosomes.

They keep the chromosome material from deteriorating, or fussing with other chromosomes.  Every time chromosomes divide, the telomeres at the ends shorten.  As telomeres are increasingly consumed, they can be replenished by an enzyme called telomerase reverse transcriptase.  The eventual shortening of telomeres is correlated with cellular senescence—and aging.

Ultimately, the telomeres become so depleted that the cell can no longer divide (known as the Hayflick limit), and that cell dies (apoptosis).

Scientists have discovered that the multiple biochemical pathways of chronic stress dampen telomerase and accelerate telomere-shortening.  The most recent study found that the telomeres of patients with depression-related stress were over 5% shorter than the telomeres of those who had not been diagnosed with depression.

Some of the many disease states associated with stress-induced homeostatic imbalance include obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, gastric ulcer, cancer, gastrointestinal complaints, skin issues, neurological disorders, sexual dysfunction, psychological problems, suppressed immunity—and reduced telomerase and shortened telomeres and, as a result, accelerated cellular and tissue aging. [End of quote]

God has created the perfect place of peace where stress is destroyed, even converted to good.  It’s called the secret place of the most high, where words—God’s Words—reign supreme.  Scholarship, strength, power, or beauty cannot access this place.  The door can only be opened by childlike faith.

Here’s your formula to transform stress into a stronghold of peace:

  • Arise 30 minutes early every day.  Pray, sing a song, meditate, and read the Word of God.  He will direct your steps.
  • Go to a church at least twice a week that preaches the Word of God.  Keep in mind that studies revealed that those who attend church more than once a week live 11% longer.  This is very huge! 
  • Take 3x5” index cards and write a verse on each of them.  Recommended verses would include: Matthew 11:28-30, Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:8, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 4:18.  Carry the cards with you and read them every four hours. 

Kill stress before stress kills you—and, as you should expect, God shows the way.  [End of quotes]

Stress and fears are doors—enormous doors—through which Satan finds easy access to the lives of mankind.  In order to enjoy great and glorious success, these doors must be slammed shut with authority, and the secret of that authority is found in the Holy Bible. [End of quote]

GOD SAID, Isaiah 26:3:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

GOD SAID, Romans 12:2:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

MAN SAID: The God of the Bible is not the God today’s enlightened society wants or needs. 

Now you have THE RECORD. 

 

 

 

References

Authorized King James Version

Borel, Brooke, “The Science of Stress,” Popular Science, March 2015

GodSaidManSaid, “Immortality Keeps on Knocking—Part 2 (It Happened on the Inside)

GodSaidManSaid, “Let''s Change Our Brains

GodSaidManSaid, “The Formula for Killing Stress

GodSaidManSaid, “Unlock and Develop God''s Brain Power

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