The human mind is a powerful tool and gift from the Creator, and how we choose to think about what happens in our lives will largely influence the responses we have. When we choose to use our minds to believe God will provide for us, we’re abiding in Him and displaying active faith. When we use our mind to focus on what we think we lack, we sow seeds of disbelief, doubt, worry and fear—and this can create constant stress in our lives. While all of us experience occasional short episodes of stress, chronic stress occurs for an extended period of time and can be harmful to the body.
People experience two types of stressors. External environmental triggers like loud noises, bright lights or financial issues are perceived by our bodies as potential dangers and create a fight-or-flight response. When stress is experienced over a long period of time, its effects on our body become systemic, leading potentially to a weakened immune system, pain, illness and other physical problems. According to the Center for Studies on Human Stress, chronic stress has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes and depression. The American Psychological Association notes that chronic stress can have serious consequences, including anxiety and depression—two conditions which also put people at double the risk for heart disease.
Signs and symptoms
Chronic stress can be debilitating to both the mind and the body. Common symptoms include:
Chest pain/cardiovascular health issues
Stomach pain/gastrointestinal health issues
How Crosswinds can help
Chronically focusing on what’s wrong or what could go wrong makes it difficult to see the possibility of solutions and hope, but the spiritual approach of Crosswinds therapy reminds us that His ways are higher than ours (Isiah 55:9).
Stress is often the byproduct of resisting “what is” and wanting the present moment to be something that it’s not. Crosswinds uses a therapeutic approach that helps individuals accept things as they are through a focus on changing behaviors and lifestyle, and learning positive techniques for managing stress. Laughter, meditation, prayer, expressing gratitude, positive affirmations, trusting God, letting go of the past and forgiveness are all parts of our therapeutic process.
With help from Crosswinds, individuals struggling with chronic stress can get back to a life focused on positive thinking, as God intended. With help, people struggling with chronic stress can bring their minds back to the state described in Philippians 4:8: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
If you or someone you care about is coping with chronic stress, please contact Crosswinds.