At Canadian high schools and universities, seniors are gearing up for the end of an era. Graduation brings a host of mixed feelings as graduates celebrate, leave behind cherished friendships and take different paths to future endeavours. One emotion, generally high on every graduate’s (and their parents’) list at this time, is stress.
“Stress” is defined as the way our bodies and minds react to life changes. And, since moving into adulthood is a period of significant change – physical, emotional, social, academic and economic – many young people are under more stress than at any other time in their lives.
But, does change – which is the one constant in human life – need to result in mental stress that sometimes even produces physical illness? It doesn’t.
Recommendations and tips for easing this stress abound in magazines, social media and television talk shows. But one important approach is not covered – tapping into spirituality; even prestigious clinics like the Mayo suggests a less tangible – but no less useful – way to find stress relief is through spirituality.
What is it about spirituality that helps someone live stress-free?
Spirituality, grounded in an understanding of the unchanging, eternal and good nature of the divine and our relationship to that, can provide anyone with a powerful mental tool to combat stress. The Bible puts it this way: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
However, today, young adults – and many parents – feel overwhelmed by expert analyses and media views that depict the world as unsafe, graduate programs and placements as unattainable, jobs as unavailable, and a happy, healthy life as less likely than for past generations. A grim view indeed!
But it isn’t the only view available. We can choose to adopt a different view when we feel buffeted by the many winds of change that threaten our mental well-being. Change the basis of thought from the quicksand of purely human outlines and expectations to the solid foundation of the Divine having control in your life. This is a rock on which anyone can confidently stand and feel safe and secure.
Acknowledging Divine goodness as ever present and all powerful can change a stressful situation for every graduate – and parent – into one of buoyant calm and hope.