We all experience stress and anxiety to some degree in our lives.  Unfortunately this has become accepted as normal by many.  Some would even say that a little bit of anxiety is good for you.  Anxiety and stress are ultimately fear based.  Fear always creates tension and tension always leads to pain.  So in the end there really is nothing good about stress and anxiety as they keep us locked up inside and prisoner to fear and tension. 
There are many sources of stress and anxiety in our lives including:
            -Expectations (self and others)
            -Unexpected change
            -Worry about the future
In response to these stressors, our anxieties make themselves known in many of the following ways:
            -Physical pain (chest, head ache, breathing)
            -Aggressive responses
            -Distracted thinking
            -Tension in relationships
            -Appetite changes
            -Sleep disturbance
In cases of extreme anxiety and stress (including panic attackes) there needs to be a more extensive approach to healing that includes some very intentional cognitive/behavioral therapy.  For those struggling with more day-to-day stresses and anxieties, the following suggesting can be very helpful:
1.     Regain Perspective through taking time to yourself in solitude and silence
2.     Just Breath-Long, slow, deep breaths.  Breath in your nose and out your mouth. 
3.     Get organized-Write out the “to-do’s” that are stressing you out and prioritize what you need to accomplish.
4.     Take action in these three areas
a.     Emotional
                                                                          i.      Wake up to positive words
                                                                        ii.      Journaling
                                                                      iii.      Creative Arts
                                                                     iv.      Music
b.     Spiritual
                                                                          i.      Verses
                                                                        ii.      Prayer
                                                                      iii.      Devotions
                                                                     iv.      Fellowship
c.      Physical
                                                                          i.      Food: soy, calcium, complex carbs, iron
                                                                        ii.      Stretching
                                                                      iii.      Lavender/Peppermint
                                                                       v.      Exercise
                                                                     vi.      Bath
                                                                   vii.      Relaxation exercises
                                                                 viii.      Tea
Ultimately our stress and anxieties keep us from fully experiencing our loves and passions.  You do not have to live with any level of stress or anxiety.  If you would like help coping with stress and anxiety in your life, please contact us at www.olivercounseling.com.