Health Notes #14

Coping With Stress

What is stress?

Stress is the sum total of pressures converging on a person.

We live in a world of rapid change, and sometimes things seem to pile upon us at such a rapid rate that it is hard to take. Stress is known to be a major contributor to heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidental injuries, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.

There are many ways that people find to deal with the burdens and stresses in life. Here are seven simple steps in ABC form to help.

A = Awareness--Know the warning signs; anxiety, chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, extreme appetite changes, increased chemical dependence (alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, pain relievers, other drugs,) inability to concentrate, extreme restlessness, "I don't care" attitude. Many times when we are under too much strain our homes become dirty or neglected and our families also.

B = Break up stressors--Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done. Select your priorities from that list. Ask yourself these three questions. 1. Does this task have to be done? 2. Do I have to do it? 3. Does it have to be done now?

C = Call for Divine Assistance--Acknowledge that we cannot cope with everything and call out to God for help. (Psalm 91:15) Calling may also include an understanding friend.

D = Develop good health habits--In dealing with stress, make a determined effort to have a regular time for sleeping and rising. If you don't get adequate sleep, you lower your immune system and your body's ability to handle stress. Adequate rest will increase your will power to do what you need to do health-wise, and the determination to stay free from harmful substances. Get outside and become as physically active as you can. Fresh air soothes the mind and nerves.

E = Educate yourself to be adaptable--Realize that plans change and allow your mind to be open to the changes that will come. Stress depends not only upon what happens to an individual, but upon the way be reacts to the situation.

F = Find time to relax every day--We need time to let the work or school problems go. A walk outside, a change in activity, a trip, if only for a couple hours. Get away from the usual bustle that keeps you tied up in knots. You are worth it.

G = Golden rule--People who practice the Golden Rule have fewer colds, digestive upsets, and headaches, and are less subject to all types of serious diseases.

Everyone experiences stress. By recognizing when our stress is turning into distress, we are well on the way to handling the problem.

Tropical Cheesecake

1-1/2 c. ground granola
2 T. honey and 1 T. juice

Mix until crumbly and press into a 9" X 9" pan.

2 c. tofu
1 T. lemon juice
1/3 c. honey
1 T. vanilla
2 T. cornstarch
1 banana
1 T. maple flavoring
1 can crushed pineapple

Blend all ingredients until smooth and pour gently over crust. Bake 350o F. for about 20 minutes, until edges are browning. Cool. Then cover with thickened strawberries.

Strawberry Topping:
Thaw 4 c. unsweetened berries. Pour off the berry juice and put into blender with 3/4 c. apple juice concentrate, a pinch of salt and 1/4 c. cornstarch. Blend on high briefly. Pour into a sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until thick and clear. Remove from heat and gently fold in berries with a rubber spatula. Cool slightly before spreading on the cheesecake.

Tofu Mayonnaise

1 # tofu
1 c. water
1/4 c. concentrated apple juice
1/2 tsp. garlic
2-4 T. potato flakes
1-1/2 T. onion powder
3/8 c. lemon juice
2-1/4 t. salt

Blend all but the potato flakes until smooth. Add the flakes gradually until thickened. It will thicken more as it cools. Blend a few more seconds.

You can add onion soup mix, or dill weed to this to make a dip. Thin for a salad dressing.

Pain is inevitable

Misery is optional

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