From the Venerable Master (August, 2014)

posted May 30, 2015, 7:35 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 30, 2015, 7:35 PM ]

Brethren, 

Is [our] your world under stress? Keys to managing it. What has caused your stress?
Insecurity- financial or otherwise▪ A demanding routine▪ Interpersonal conflicts▪ A traumatic experience 
How has stress affected you? 
Health disorders▪ Emotional exhaustion▪ Sleep problems.▪ Depression▪ Deteriorating relationships. 
"The best start" To relieving stress. " Making certain lifestyles changing is the best start" To relieving stress, says the National Institute of Health. " Start with eating a well-balanced, healthy diet as well as well as sleep and exercise. Also, limit caffeine and alcohol intake and don't use nicotine or other types of drugs. The NIH also suggests taking breaks from work, spending time with family and friends learning to make things with your hands or learning to play a musical instrument. Stress activates an amazing system in your body-your emergency response system. 
So learning how to deal with stress is important to both your physical and mental well-being. Many people have been able to manage life's stresses by applying the practical advice found in the Bible. Could its tried and tested wisdom help you?
Consider the question in the light of your common causes of stress. Remember none of us have total security. As the Bible states, " time and unexpected events overtake [us] all." ( Ecclesiastes 9:11) How can we cope with feelings of insecurity? 
Try these suggestions.
Confide in a trusted family member or a friend. Studies show that the support of loved ones confers protection against stress- related disorders. Yes, a true friend shows love at all times and is a brother who is born for times of distress. " Proverbs 17:17
Do not continually focus on worst case scenarios. Such thinking does little more than drain emotional reserves. The Bible says. Never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties," Matthew 6:34. Throw all your anxiety on [God}, because he cares for you, " says Peter 5:7 God shows his case by giving us inner peace and by assuring us that he will never abandon those who sincerely turn to him for comfort and support in times of need." Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:6,7.
A relentless routine of commuting, working, studying, or caring for children or elderly parents can keep stress levels high. Moreover stopping these activities may be out of the question ( Timothy 5:8) What, then, can you do to cope?
Try to give yourself some downtime and get adequate rest. Set sound priorities, and adopt a modest lifestyle. (Philippians 1:10) Consider simplifying your life perhaps by reducing expenses or time spent at work. Luke 21:34, 35
Conflicts with others, can be very stressful. If you experience such difficulties, you have a number of options that might help.
When someone upsets you, try to stay calm. do not add fuel to the fire. A mild answer turns away rage, but a  harsh word stirs up anger," says Proverbs 15:1 
Try to settle differences privately and respectfully thus dignifying the other person. - Matthew 5:23-25. 
Try to gain insight into his or her feelings and viewpoint. Such insight " Slows down [our] anger' because it puts us in the other persons shoes. (Proverbs 19:11) It can also help us see ourselves through the other persons eyes. Try to forgive. Forgiveness in not only beautiful. It is also good medicine. As reported in a 2001 study," unforgiving thoughts" result in significantly high blood pressure and heart rate., whereas a forgiving attitude reduced stress.- Colosseum 3:13. A genuine hope and wisdom to cope with life's many stresses are both priceless, and both can be found in the pages of the Bible. Millions have already benefited from this remarkable and unique book. You can too.
For the day: ' Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work."

Joseph DaSilva, 32°  KCCH
Venerable Master