Dr. Christopher Edwards, director of the Behavioral Chronic Pain Management program at Duke University Medical Center, says his pain-management program in Durham, N.C. is seeing a rise in patients amid the current economic crisis: “There’s a very strong relationship between the economy and the number of out-of-control stress cases we see.”
Katherine Muller is a cognitive therapist and director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. She says “The message I’m trying to send(to my patients) is that you are responsible for your own stress. The way you are looking at it and feeling about it is more up to you than you realize.”
Both of the above excerpts were taken from a Wall Street Journal health column written by Melina Beck on March 17, 2009. Her article is another reminder of the affect that chronic stress can have on our physical health. In this case, it’s the stress people are experiencing because of their perceptions and beliefs about their finances and the impact the economy is having on their lives. Beck mentions the value of exercise, biofeedback and therapy as methods to alleviate stress, however she makes no mention of the spiritual dimension of one’s life and the value of it in managing the stressors associated with this economic mess were are in.
Jesus tells us not to worry about everyday matters and our basic needs. He tells us that our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much, will provide for us. He tells us that God already knows our needs and that he’ll give us all we need from day to day if we live for him and make the Kingdom of God our primary concern. (Matthew 6:25-34)
That’s the key. If we want to be able to not worry and not be anxious and stressed amidst this economic crisis, we can live for God and make him our greatest concern… our greatest love.. and he assures us that he’ll take care of us and meet our most basic needs. This is what he is reminding all of us during this season of economic downturn.
We have a choice. We can focus on our diminished 401Ks and the mess that Wall Street is in, or we can focus on the Kingdom of God and of His qualities and promises. When we are able to do the latter, we can experience peace. That’s what the Bible, God’s guideline for living, tells us.
I hope you’ll choose to lean on your faith and into God to make it, no matter the source of your concerns and difficulties.