to accompany and give back hope

Parish Nursing Bulletin



Series on Stress: Part 6

Making Changes

Over the last few weeks we've looked at what causes stress, how stress and disease are related, and how we can learn to manage our stress levels better. This information is fine in theory but when it comes to implementing the suggestions, we are faced with the necessity of making changes. Mostly we are comfortable in our routines. When our routines become prisons that negatively affect our health, it is time to reconsider them. The thought of changing can be threatening and overwhelming. It is easier to believe that our particular situations are cast in stone than to decide to make changes.

The good news is that change is possible. We probably know someone who has given up smoking, shed excess pounds, or taken up exercise. If they can do it, so can we! What makes the difference between persevering successfully and giving up on planned changes?

Some things are necessary to help us implement changes:

First, we have to believe that the threat to us (e.g. of having a heart attack, unwanted pregnancy, relationship breakdown) is real. If these things only happen to "other people", they won't motivate us to change.

Next, we need to believe that the proposed change (healthy diet & exercise, birth control, counseling) will help us to avoid the unwanted happening.

Third, we must believe ourselves capable of making the change.

Breaking large changes into a series of smaller ones can be helpful here. Success at each small step motivates us to continue.

Finally, we need support (family, friends, group) to help us through the change until it becomes our new "routine".

If you want to get started, but don't know how, talk to your minister or Parish Nurse.


© 2009 Parish Nursing Ministry