Stress relief
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We must learn to relax.

Stress is arguably the number one enemy of your immune system. It sets the body up for all kinds of diseases—from diabetes to high blood pressure to gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. It can also be linked to many life-threatening conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and kidney disease.

Many times even the most conscientious health care providers fall into the trap of relieving only the symptoms of a disease instead of helping the patient resolve the underlying stressors causing it.

Instead, try God-oriented health care. God knows how your body functions—after all, He made it! And we can get to know the mind of our Maker by reading our owner’s manual, which is God’s Word. As you follow God’s manual, you will find that it comes with a guarantee. God gave this guarantee to mankind when He walked this earth as the man Jesus Christ.

We read this guarantee in John 10:10, where Jesus says He came so we could “have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” The Greek word translated “life” in this verse means “absolute fullness of life.” It’s a life without sickness, disease, or anything that can prevail against God’s plan for you.

How do you discover this disease-free life? First, you learn to relax. Jesus said it best in Matthew 11:28–29, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.”

There you go! The key to learning to relax is coming to Jesus, learning from Him, and doing things His way. Don’t worry—His way is not the hard way. In fact, it is the easiest way. He guarantees it in verse 30: “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (nkjv).

Here are three ways to relax during the workday. Find a quiet place where you can sit down comfortably and, if possible, not be disturbed.

1. Become prayerfully aware. Begin by closing your eyes and silently praising and thanking the Lord for your life.

2. Perform a muscle inventory. Starting with your feet and working up, progressively tense and release each body part. After releasing the muscle, release it a little bit more. Take five deep breaths in and out and repeat the tense-release progression one more time.

3. Imagine the warm light of God’s love. Imagine a warm white light shining on the top of your head. Tell yourself that the light is relaxing all the muscles of your head. Move the imaginary light to your jaw, throat, shoulders, arms, and hands. Feel the warmth and respond by loosening all tension. Let the light move to your abdomen, thighs, legs, feet, and toes. Then imagine your whole body bathed in the warm white light of God’s love as you let go of any remaining tension.

Let’s pray together.

Lord, I choose to discover and enjoy Your pathway to life and health by learning to relax according to Your holy Word. In Jesus’s name, amen.

The preceding is an excerpt from 30 Quick Tips for Better Health by Don VerHulst, M.D. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or Christianbook.com.

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