NUGGETS OF GOLD a monthly Blog by David Nofziger
Feeling Stressed by the Coronavirus?
April 1, 2020
We have all been affected by a virus that is spreading around the world. It is a scary time for us, and stress is a typical response to a fearful incidence. On the one hand, it is good to experience some fear because that is needed to help change our behavior, which is a tough thing to do. People around the world are currently making changes to beat this new virus. We can all be part of the solution by behaving in healthy ways as instructed by the medical profession. On the other hand, because there is no quick fix or quick solution to ending this pandemic, the stress can also cause us specific problems.
Stress is the term we give to the various responses our body goes through when facing a difficult or dangerous experience. The body’s stress reaction is to protect us. More than a thousand physical responses are going on in our bodies when we are stressed. Our body swings into action to protect us when we are in danger. Adrenalin begins to flow freely to give us strength. Our breathing becomes more shallow and intense to get as much oxygen to the body as possible. Our heart rate then increases to pump that oxygen rapidly to our muscles and brain. Our pupils dilate to help us see better, our hearing becomes more acute, and every sense in our body is enhanced to make us super aware of our surroundings.
All of these reactions help prepare you to survive the danger. If you come across a stranger in a dark alley carrying a knife, you will turn and run faster and longer and farther than you have ever run in your life. You have supernatural strength. When you are finally safe, you shake it off, slow your breathing, relax and think, “That was close!” Thank God for that stress response.
Unfortunately, all those body reactions that protect us are hard on us if they last too long. This virus is not going away quickly, so we are all experiencing prolonged stress. The good news is that we can change our thinking to allow stress to positively motivate us to do the very things that can keep us healthy and reduce our stress! Let me give you some examples of how to do just that.
I have already mentioned that we can let this crisis change our behavior to help reduce our chances of being infected. Then, after you have done everything you can do to keep you and your family safe, start enjoying your life again, no matter what your circumstances are. In other words, do what you can do and trust God with the rest.
Significant stress for many families is being laid off work and having your kids home from school. You can worry and fret, get agitated and irritated (none of which is going to help you one iota), or you can see this as a time to strengthen your family. Stop watching so much news and enjoy some good comedies. Laughter is a great stress reliever. Play some games with your children. Go outside and run around with your children, playing tag, or sports activities in your back yard. Exercise is another excellent stress reliever.
Help someone who may be in need. Go shopping for a neighbor who cannot. Talk to friends on the phone, allowing them to vent and relieve some of their stress as well. When you do positive things for others, it releases healthy stress hormones and increases the endorphins in the brain, which help lift your mood. Use your creativity to come up with other superb ideas to help others.
Finally, studies have shown that if you view stress more positively, your body will respond to the stress more positively. Think about all the many blessings in your life. Remember, we will get through this. Let hope fill your heart rather than despair. We, as humans, have a tremendous resiliency if we just put it to work. Look up rather than down!
Let me close with an encouraging word from the wisest man who ever lived, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 – The Message Bible)
David Nofziger has been the director and lead counselor at Hope Alive Counseling Services in Defiance since 1989 and author of “Brain Washed, Transforming Your Self-Image through the Amazing Love of God.” He and his wife, Sue, attend Family Christian Center in Defiance where they head up the church’s mission program. Visit HopeAliveCounseling.com for more information.
Nuggets of Gold is a monthly Blog focused on Personal growth, Marriage Improvement, and Parenting Issues. Your comments can be entered below. They are always welcome and suggestions for future posts are appreciated. Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts with you.
BRAIN WASHED Transforming Your Self-Image Through the Amazing Love of God, by David Nofziger.
If you enjoy “Nuggets of Gold,” I would like to recommend this book to you which brings you an entire pot of gold. This pot of gold is not at the end of an imaginary rainbow, but is found in the transforming power of the love of God.
The key to fulness of life is discovering who we are in Christ. Our self-image is one of the most important factors affecting our growth and wellbeing, and we need a Christ-Centered Self-Image. In this book you will learn how to allow the truth of God’s love to penetrate deep into your heart and transform you in such a way that you take on the “Image of Christ.”
All profits from books that are sold through the Hope Alive Counseling Website go to counseling scholarships for clients with financial needs.