Live in the moment, but also plan for future stress

Head shot close up stressed middle aged businesswoman massaging temples, suffering from headache. Unhealthy female older mature leader entrepreneur partner manager feeling exhausted at office.

Need help staying positive during trying times? Live more in the moment, but also focus on how to cope with future stresses. This advice comes from a study published online March 25, 2020, by Personality and Individual Differences.

Researchers explored two factors in how people handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping. Mindfulness is when people live in the moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Proactive coping is when people make efforts to reduce the effect stress has on them.

In the study, researchers looked at how 223 people responded to daily stress. Everyone completed a survey to show how they engage in positive coping. Examples included “I visualize my dreams and try to achieve them” and “I try to take care of little problems before they become big problems.”

To measure mindfulness, the group filled out daily questionnaires that recorded how often they stayed in the present moment during the day. Examples of not being present, which suggests low levels of mindfulness, included “It seems I am ‘running on automatic,’ without much awareness of what I’m doing,” and “I forget a person’s name almost as soon as I’ve been told it for the first time.” The participants also reported on their daily stress levels and negative moods.

Participants who engaged in both proactive coping and high mindfulness were more resilient against daily stressors compared with those who performed only one. While excelling in both areas is a challenge, the researchers noted that to best manage stress, you need the combination of living in the moment and focusing on how to cope with future stresses.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

  A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 NIV 

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV 

deliverance You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of. Psalm 32:7 NIV

 So that I Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 NIV

may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. Romans 15:32 NIV 

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. Psalm 119:111 NIV

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 NIV

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NIV 

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