As Matthew says in chapter 6 of his gospel, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body or what you will put on…For your heavenly Father knows that you need all of these things.” But when we don’t understand God’s unconditional love for us, we worry. We don’t realize that God is already taking care of our needs. And, unfortunately, from worry comes anxiety and stress.
Stress is a real, physical condition that causes a release of cortisol and adrenaline into our bodies, interrupting our immune system, our digestive system and our reproductive system, among other things.
Fortunately, there is a cure – LOVE! The giving and receiving of love lowers our stress levels. When we feel love, a hormone called Oxytocin is released in our bodies. Oxytocin reduces Cortisol levels, making us feel less stressed. As Christians, we don’t even have to pull love out of thin air, we are by nature conduits of God’s love. In His Word, we are taught to show love to the “least of my brothers.” That is, allow your actions to speak the love of God in all that you do!
As you go through your week, try one of these stress reducers:
· Schedule time for a conversation with a friend
· Write a note to someone you love
· Do an act of service for someone in your family
· Offer help to a neighbor
· Say a kind word to the person who made your cappuccino or wrung up your groceries
St. John Chrysostomos “Do not wait to be loved by another, but leap at it yourself; and be the first to begin it. For there is no ocean so wide, no flame so intense, as love. And no language can set it forth as it deserves.”