Years ago, I had my office and car windows shot out because of community resistance to a school that I was closing. This created a fearful condition for me and for my family. As I tried to resolve this stressful situation, a painful and unbearable thumping in my head developed. I was able to handle it, as I’ll explain in a minute.
I was reminded of this situation recently when I thought about the current stresses people throughout this country are facing.
Presently, I live in an area of the country where a lot of families have lost their homes and businesses because of economic conditions. Kids have changed schools and friends. Moms and dads have new pressures – many outside their control. I haven’t been personally affected, but the deeper I look into my community, region, and nation, the more I observe new and sometimes threatening situations, beyond my control, that are developing: reduced school funding, public services not being provided, and lack of resources for safety-net services. The social mood seems to be changing in ways I have never experienced before.
According to Alan Hall’s article “Bear-Market Stress is Weakening Society,” “Stress is born of the same fear that drives stock prices lower, tanks economies and escalates foreclosures, and also increases the risk of disease…” He describes foreclosure as being “forced out of your home” and as “one of the most disruptive and stressful financial calamities that a family can suffer.”
Research studies indicate that foreclosures create a public health crisis and harm the health of families and communities. For example, some say that communities with high foreclosure rates have a greater need for hospitalization for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart failure.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s Chief Medical Editor, says that “stress is a huge factor in creating these conditions.”
How can those societal conditions that are creating stress and fear be tempered?
One study found that almost half of the American population turns to prayer to address health concerns. I’ve found that helpful in my own life.
Back to the story about when my car and office windows were shot out and I had severe head pain, I was instantly healed of the pain when I turned my thought toward a divine sense of things instead of focusing on the picture in front of me. A thought came to me that I knew from a book on spirituality and health called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
It was about the idea that my human mind could yield to a much bigger sense of consciousness, what I would call divine Mind. I embraced that idea and the pain dissolved.
Recognizing the causes of fear and stress, and thinking through how to address them in thought, is important in improving health. This recognition needs to be at the individual as well as the societal level. We can each participate in this in our own way today, perhaps even by considering for a moment the peace and calm that the idea of an infinite Consciousness brings.
photo © GLOW IMAGES