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If stress is affecting your health, God has an answer for you.

Most of my clients who are chronically ill have one thing in common—stress! I have found that in many cases, clients who have had stressful experiences in their lives, such as divorce, job loss, sleep deprivation, death in the family, trouble with children and loneliness have lowered immune responses, a condition that sets them up for various types of illness, including migraines, backaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, depression, panic disorders, lupus and more.

It is important to remember that stress is stress, whether it is good stress or bad stress. Getting married, receiving a job promotion, going on vacation, giving birth, moving to a new home and graduating from college are considered happy events in our lives, but they also produce much stress. People in stressful situations—whether the situations are good or bad—tend to come down with the same types of chronic illnesses as a result of lowered immune response.

The good news is that God designed our bodies to handle stress. If we maintain a high level of immune system health, we may even thrive on it. How do we keep our immune systems strong? By eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising, having a good sense of humor and taking the time to relax and to pray.

Your best stress weapon, of course, is to cast all your cares upon the Lord. Do it daily. Do it minute by minute if you have to. But do it. God will see you through.

Recognizing the early signs of stress and taking action early on to handle it through exercise, relaxation, dietary changes and prayer rather than letting it become destructive will make a difference in your quality of life and well-being. You can't always avoid stress, but by learning to cope with it you can become an overcomer rather than a statistic. 

Janet Maccaro, Ph.D, CNC, is a respected lecturer and the author of several books on health and nutrition, including 100 Answers to 100 Questions about How to Live Longer.

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