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Feeling Stressed Out?!?
Use stress to rest in God

    I remember dealing with lots of stress in high school and college. Some students would take what many called the “primal scream” break. In the middle of their studies they would simply stop, open up their window and let out a huge scream. It seemed to help, although it made the person on the street a bit worried about what was going on.
    Stress is a problem for all of us. It can lead a person to feel panic, anxiety, dread, depression or helplessness. Primal screams can help for awhile, but they may actually cause a person more stress if they become the only source of relief!

    So what to do? Rest in God! Stress in our life can be a signal that God wants to get our attention. Jesus wants us to have faith and trust in Him: “Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest!” How?
    Find a place where you can be alone with God. Jesus told his disciples to go into the closet where they could be alone with God. He often went off by himself to deserted places to pray and be with His Father.
    Make Time for God. Many get stuck on this one. Stress makes us feel like we have no time. But the more you pray, the more inner peace you will have and the more time you will have to do the things you have to do, because everything gets done with greater efficiency.
    Talk to God. The Lord hears the cry of the poor. He hears our primal screams! Open your heart to the Lord by telling God your anxieties and fears. Often, we are afraid to admit our worries and troubles to ourselves and others for fear it will make us look bad or weak, but we need the courage to face them. Read Matthew 6:25-33.
    Be still and Listen to God. After getting out the anxiety, listen. Take some deep breaths and close your eyes and let your soul be still. Some people can use their imagination and see Jesus with them. I would suggest reading a passage of scripture. For anxiety I would suggest: Mk 4:35-41; Mt 14:22-33;  Ps 135; Ps 139; Rm. 8.
    End with Praise and Thanksgiving to God. Think of a few things that you are grateful for in your life and thank God for them. It is amazing that once you begin this, your mind will be off your fears and worries and you will find yourself resting in God!

by Fr. Bill Ashbaugh

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