STRESS comes to everybody, but it does not mean that we must be subdued by stress. The statistics are overwhelming when it comes to the casualties of stress. In fact, stress has become an epidemic in society today where countless people are affected. Decades of studies, medication, and management strategies have not conclusively eradicated this nemesis. Stress has no special package as it is based on the response of an individual in a given situation. It can be a small issue, large issue, or no issue. It is true people can stress for nothing. How we receive and respond to life’s issues determines the level of stress in our lives. Some people have great inner resolve and can handle stress. Others do not have this innate ability and are triggered by minuscule issues. Some can hide their stress publicly because they have been trained to have a good poise and composure. Some people wear their stresses on their faces and sometimes look anxious, perplexed, embarrassed, and emotionally drained. Different people have different tolerance levels. In saying that, there is no consistent methodology to handle stress, but experience has taught me a few lessons when it comes to stress. Being in ministry has become my school master. There were times I would do a funeral during the day, and lend my shoulders in strength to one mourning the death of a loved one, and, in the afternoon, I would do a birthday or engagement celebrating another. It taught me to be mentally and emotionally prepared. So, experience has taught me to cope and I want to share a few life lessons.Use your last battle as a motivation. If you have come through one battle, then there is hope for victory in another. Acquaint yourself with positive people. If you keep talking with negative people, you create an atmosphere of doubt, fear and defeat. Make choices when there is calmness. Emotional decisions will have emotional outcomes. You don’t want to react or say something or transact in the heat of a moment. Choices created pathways. They will determine what will leave you and what will come to you. Acceptance is therapeutic. If we live in denial, the road to recovery is longer. Acceptance makes room for preparation, goals and prioritization.Condition yourself by activity. Physically training helps the mind and body. Nobody can do that but you. Increase your energy levels. The mind is given an assignment contrary to the stress related circumstances rehearsing in your mind.Talk to someone trustworthy. we don’t have all the answers for all of life’s issues. But there are people that carry solutions and resolutions that can bring peace for every situation. Don’t give up! Pastor Govender of House of Nations church in Athlone Park can be contacted at 083 301 3825.