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
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12:24 – Luke 12:24
“It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” – Matthew 15:11
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” – Matthew 12:33
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” – Proverbs 18:21
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
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