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Seven Stress Management Tips

Everyone has stress in their life, but some seasons of life brings more than at other times. Learning how to cope with it makes the difference between being overwhelmed and learning to grow.

In the more than 20 years that I’ve been ministering to cancer patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, there has never been a patient I’ve met who hasn’t had to deal with stress manifested in one way or another, which is the result of distress of one’s norm in their life. Stress simply comes with the territory.

Image: Gus Moretta

But you don’t have to fall victim to that stress. There is hope and there are ways to manage your stress in an effective manner. And, if you manage it appropriately, stress can prompt you to make healthier life choices.

Seven Stress Management Tips

  1. Consciously create time and space in your mind and control your physical environment. Through prayer and rest you allow your body and mind to take a breath and pause.
  2. Exercise, make smart food choices, take time to catch your breath and get quality sleep to put yourself on the right track. Caregivers can help by coaching and controlling distractions.
  3. In addition to lifestyle changes such as exercise and quitting smoking, additional natural things to try that may help in managing stress such as chamomile, Epsom salts in a bath, using a lavender essential oil or magnesium are things that may help the brain relax.
  4. Identify what works best for you in order to decrease stress. It could be listening to music, or taking a walk. Some find that something more active relieves stress such as a high-intensity workout. Use what works best for you.
  5. There can be insightful books and articles to help you control stress in your life. Look into the self-help, or stress reduction sections. Find what aligns best with your values and beliefs.
  6. Ask for help. No one can or should be expected to go through it alone. Help comes in many forms and from your doctor to your neighbor, to your pastor, most people are just waiting for you to ask.
  7. Bless someone else. It can be extremely helpful and energizing to refocus your energy into another person. Maybe it’s a card, a phone call, a gift or simply a smile.

Image: Joseph Gonzalez

 

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Category: Fall 2017, Living the Faith

About the Author: Percy McCray is Director of Spiritual/Faith-Based Programs at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. A fully ordained minister for more than 20 years, Rev. Percy McCray is a member of the United States Chaplains Association. He has been recognized as one of the “most influential African Americans in Lake County (IL)” by the People’s Voice newspaper for his religious and leadership roles within the community and was also recognized as one of the most beloved pastors of the Chicagoland area by the Defender newspaper. In addition to his role as Director of Faith-Based Programs at CTCA, Rev. McCray helps lead Our Journey of Hope®, a cancer ministry training and support program.

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