Written by TWFYT
Monday April 8

“You will be strong and free of fear.”  Job 11:15 NLT

When you ignore the warning signs, chronic stress can take a toll on your body. So what are some of the signals? Well for starters, your stomach churns at any form of disagreement. When you can’t find an outlet for pent-up frustration, you resort to overeating, smoking, drinking, drugs, and generally abusing your body. You isolate yourself, which affects your loved ones. Debora M. Coty writes about what she terms the “Three Fs: outward fussing, inward fuming, and chronic fatigue.” She jokes, “I knew it was time to address my stress issues when my growl grew louder than the dogs, and my family tactfully suggested I get a rabies shot.” However, it’s the sign you don’t see that can do the most damage. Cortisol, a hormone our bodies release in the grasp of stress, adds to out-of-control feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. And studies verify that over time, stress raises your blood pressure, contributes to migraines and tension headaches, and results in the plaque that leads to heart disease. Chronic stress has been observed to increase cardiovascular risk by 50 percent! Not to mention documented connections to alcoholism, anxiety attacks, asthma, cancer, cols, depression, flu, insomnia, obesity, strokes, and ulcers. And those uncontrolled crying spells you encounter when you’re exhausted are no coincidence. Stress lowers estrogen levels, which can activate emotional outbursts. If this describes you, take action! Rearrange your priorities, slow down, start taking control of your life, and turn to God. When you “prepare your heart and lift up your hand to him in prayer…You will be strong and free of fear” (vv. 13,15 NLT).
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