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Where do I Begin?

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7

So if I am dis-stressed, what do I do about it? 

God gives us both promises and encouragement. He reminds us that with His help we can accomplish most anything. Understanding how our minds work can give us the tools to act out the faith He gives us.

Where do I start?

Our personality traits have an influence on how we respond to life. While one person might get distressed in a situation, another person may be challenged or energized. Our life experiences and our DNA help shape and mold the core beliefs we hold about who we are, what we can do and how we fit into the world.

But we are not held captive to a set of personality traits. It is what we do with life experiences that make the difference. It is how we choose to respond rather than simply reacting.

Many of us can remember parents or grandparents who met the challenges and struggles of life with a spirit of determination and hope. We might have read stories about people who have overcome severe adversities. They remind us that if they can survive and find solutions we can too.


Anything that creates stress is called a stressor. Remember that good stress is measured in our ability to enjoy and live life. It allows us to make goals and accomplish them. It enables us to get excited and experience happiness and joy. Distress comes when we are overwhelmed, exhausted and challenges become insurmountable obstacles. Here are some of the more common ways we get distressed:

Time management: juggling schedules – doing too much – not saying No.

Time pressure: We are expected to maintain or improve quality, increase productivity within a smaller time frame. We are infected with a time disease.

Overload: too much information, new technology, requiring high learning curves

Disorganization: there is stuff all over the house – we don’t know what to do with it so we shuffle it from one place to another.

Lack of Structure. We have no defined schedules or routines or family structure

Relationships: Enormous stress is created when there is constant disconnect and disharmony in our relationships with family, children, spouses, co-workers, and bosses.

Over the next few weeks I will share with you how you can take the challenges creating distress and turn ways to turn them into positive action. We will also find ways to better define our stressors and problems so we can find more adequate solutions turning our distress into energizing stress.

©2012 Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

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