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Stressing the need to be kind

War Cry comments on work-related stress

He speaks about the importance of faith in his life

DON’T stress if, despite your best efforts to eat less and exercise more, your new year’s resolution to lose weight hasn’t come to fruition yet. According to a study from Stanford University in the US, when our hormones are disrupted by stress, our bodies convert more cells to fat than they do when our stresses dissipate.

Since 1992 April has been designated Stress Awareness Month. It’s a time when healthcare professionals work to increase public awareness about what has been described as a ‘modern stress epidemic’.

Symptoms of the epidemic can include cognitive difficulties, such as poor judgment and an inability to concentrate, emotional problems, including depression and anxiety, and physical ailments linked to chest pain and high blood pressure.

According to a report last year by the Health and Safety Executive, 526,000 people suffered from work-related stress, depression and anxiety in a 12-month period, leading to 12.5 million working days being lost – almost half of all the working days lost to ill health.

In this week’s issue of The War Cry we publish an interview with John Sutherland, who was a borough commander for the Metropolitan Police. John describes how stress and depression took him from running a London borough to barely being able to run a bath. However, he goes on to explain how, with the support of family and friends, he obtained the professional help he needed to cope.

He also speaks about the importance of faith in his life and how he discovered his need to learn how to rest physically, emotionally and mentally. ‘I had to be kinder to myself,’ he says.

Given the number of people who suffer from work-related stress alone, there are many of us who need to learn that it is better to de-stress before we become too distressed.

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