Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stress and Peace...

Stress and peace seem to be counter intuitive to each other. Is it possible to have one to need the other? Every day, we experience stress. Sometimes we experience peace, but just as we have stress in our lives everyday we should strive to have peace everyday as well!

You can find a number of books, posts, and ideas on stress and peace. Generally as separate topics, although related.
Peace to me, which is going to be my new challenge, after reading this book, means I will separate myself if I feel stressed (as much as I can). I want my kids to see me in peace and in an always loving manner- not stressed out about getting somewhere on time, or getting mad because they did not listen to me the first three hundred times I asked them to do something. I want them to be at peace with love life and who they are.

My being at peace is loving me for all who I am not mattering what I have or what I have done. I want to love me for the virtue that I am worth it. I want to love those even if they don't love me, because hatred is like, so yesterday! LOL

At any rate, why am I writing about Stress and Peace? I get to review a book called... you guessed it... Stress and Peace!

At first glance of the book "Stress and Peace" by Stanley V Johnson, MBA, I was very disappointed. What I found was biblical principles on why those of faith have less stress. Or that those with less faith or less practiced faith experience more stress. I am spiritual but not religious. But keep reading all the way to the bottom!

This is a very educated guy writing this-- I did like that he threw in references from a lot of different religions. There is research based facts he uses within his arguments.

"We do not travel alone in our journeys. He created us in this world to experience joy and in order to strengthen us. If we make right choices in our lives with Him at our sides, these choices will lead to peace. When we make our own poor choices and do not include Him in our decision-making, we might experience unhappiness and stress" Page 11 of the E book.

I don't like that faith and stress relief are equated to have an inverse relationship. In other words, if you have faith, you don't have stress, and if you have stress, then you don't have faith. The title of the book really should have been called Faith and Stress, not Stress and Peace. Because I am reviewing this book, I will press on. But I really REALLY detest that statement above. I don't believe that if we have all sole faith in him that everything will just lead us to peace. It takes away from the empowering part of being human, being spiritual, and being a person of faith (or a follower for some, even different religions).

I do love however, ONE biblical quote from him which is 1 Corinthians 1:13 which is:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered and it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and never fails."

At first, this book feels like a purpose of blaming those with stress on not having faith. That could be purely my experience with people who think that everyone that has stress, depression, issues, or anything else does not have faith in God.

However, it definitely rectifies itself by continuing in the book with great quotes and great advise. It goes into even divorce, finances, mortgage, credit cards, etc. I think some of the things are pertinent to even me right in the moment with having just put in an offer for a house. It has been, okay yes, stressful I have to admit. But there is practical advise I can dig in here.

Some parts I really do like:

"We must not be slaves to our own bad habits, such as money sex hate jealously etc. This kind of human behavuor will give us stress and unhappiness." Page 12

"Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle" Page 13

" We can obtain peace only by our own acceptance that we do not have complete control of our lives." page 17

On page 21, I love how he talks about fame and that fact that those that can have anything they want and have multitude of talents have high rates of suicide, drugs, alcohol etc therefore we can say with great accuracy that they do not have the peace that is within.

He goes through in one of the chapters talking about kinds of stress and why they can be harmful.

One quote caught my attention and peeved me a little.
"Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness- Richard Carlson"
Dude, then we are all mentally ill including you-- I mean, come on, really?!

But as I get more into the book, I am finding some of the information actually revealing to me. Stress and real life. Real life examples of how damaging stress can be! More than we know.

We don't think of stress of having damaging effects but it really does and now I am seeing that more than ever! In fact, as a mother, a leader, an entreneuer, I feel SO guilty myself about being stressed. Like someone tied a rock in my mouth with chains and dropped it in my stomach. Who imagined?

I know for example, every parent either has yelled at their kid(s) or given them the silent treatment- one of which I am definitely guilty of. That is that rock in my stomach. Makes me want to race up and give my kids so much love in one hug that they will burst-- okay, not burst, but just so that way they know how much I love them.

I actually really like the second part of the book. VERY practical and useful advise-- you know, to help reduce your stress.

It is written, generally speaking very well, but I do suggest they take the first part out and make it the last; it is extremely off putting to those of us who have faith but don't flaunt it. It just feels too pushy.

"We must settle all arguments and differences before we go to sleep every night". 

Disclaimer: I was given the Ebook to review in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinion is my own.

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