Experimenting with Prayer to lower Stress

We traditionally associate the word prayer with church, religion, God and depending on our belief system we may or may not pray on a regular basis. Over the years I have explored many branches of Christianity as well as Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Prayer was common to all of them. I was never one to pray on a regular basis, however recently I discovered that prayer can be an amazing stress reduction tool.

I have been fascinated by religious and spiritual practices for many years, since the age of 10. My mother came from a protestant family, my father from a catholic one and as a child I found it hard to understand what the difference was. I went to both churches and of course realized that whilst the services varied, at the same time all the priests and churchgoers seem to believe in the same God and follow the same scripture.

At 11 years old I decided that they had got it wrong somewhere, that they did not understand God – my idea of God anyhow. In my understanding there was one God who was omnipresent and he was good and loving – that was enough for me. As far as I was concerned there should just be one church based on that.

Over the following years I read many different scriptures and found that in essence all the established religious and spiritual movements were repeating the same messages in different ways and they all promoted prayer, communication with that higher power, that divine energy, that which is more then our body and mind.

Through experimenting with different stress reducing methods I discovered that praying on a daily basis is a great way to start the day. By creating our own prayer we can give a direction, a focus to our thoughts. I found that this helps me to be calmer when dealing with people and difficult situations.

Our behavior is a result of our ideas and thoughts. Observe this in yourself. If you think badly about someone your facial expression, your behavior will reflect this. If you think well of someone your behavior is more kind and accepting, less critical.

Therefore if you pray to be accepting of others and think well of them you give a direction to your thoughts, which in turn will be followed by the corresponding actions.

My own prayer usually goes something like this: Please let me be a guiding light for the people around me, let me be open to their ideas and their different behaviors. Help me to be kind, efficient and creative in dealing with the situations that may arise. Thank you for providing me with strength and faith and health. Bless me with awareness and Let’s have a great day!

I encourage you to make up your own prayer or use an existing one that you like. Then set up your own experiment. For two weeks pray every morning and also during the day, each time when you feel stressed or struggle with something. Then observe how this affects your behavior and your stress level.

If you like, send me an email after the 2 weeks and let me know how it went. I would very much like your input and will share the results in one of my future newsletters.

With my very best wishes,

Christiane Pohl

Life & Leadership Coach

Author:. Christiane specialises in coaching Executives and their teams with managing change, achieving their objectives and developing their soft skills for lasting success.She is an EMCC accredited Leadership Coach & Mentor with a professional background of over 25 years experience as Senior Manager in internat... Go Deeper | Website

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