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Learning to overcome stress

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ALL people suffer from stress. The problem is not necessarily stress, because it is an inevitable part of our life, but how we receive, respond or react to it. Jonah Nyoni (JN) interviewed Peculiar Medinus (PM) during the LittWorld Publishing Conference which was hosted by Media Associates International (MAI) in Hungary. Medinus is a Nigerian author and a journalist based in the UK. Her books include Single Act, Never Get Hurt and the Quickest Way To Overcome Stress. We talked about overcoming stress.

JN: How do we deal with stress effectively? How do we fight it? How do we come out victorious?

PM: Stress can be one of the so many things. There is emotional stress, physical stress, sickness stress and work-related stress. These can be overcome in different ways depending on the cause, and the attitude and persona of the person being affected.

I decided to write a book on stress because I was under stress both emotionally and physically. For instance, a woman can be stressed, because of the abuse that she is going through in marriage and in relationships. So as a result of that, I wrote a book called The Quickest Way To Overcome Stress as a way to help a woman overcome stress.

So, some people because of stress, might say ‘I’d better give up.’ Some people might go a step further and say let me even take my life. You need to know and understand that you are not the first person to have stress. Stress does not mean that anybody’s life is over.

One thing I have come to realise in life is that stress can be a stepping stone to growth. It can be a stepping stone to progress. If it can be a stepping stone, so I think that the best way to handle stress is not to give up, but to take a confrontational approach.

Allow yourself to go through that process of stress successfully. Also, to educate yourself out of stress by seeking knowledge, looking for knowledge in so many places which include books, different speakers and professional help.

Then, in all the remedies that we have in life, there is nothing that is beyond God and His Word.   One of the things that helped me in going through or overcoming stress, whether physical or emotional, is the word of God.

JN: How important are support structures when dealing with stress. 

PM: In addition to the bible knowledge, there is also human knowledge. That is why we have doctors, coaches, counsellors, advisers, psychologists and pastors. We also have authors like me, who have been inspired to write books which one can read and overcome stress. These people that help us have to be inspired, informed and motivated to help you overcome. Remember, positive energy and positive affirmations is what we need at times.

JN: At times we are hit on the blind side by failure, how do we use failure to fuel our courage?

PM: I think there is nothing as good as somebody being consistent. One thing that I have come to realise is that failure is not final. I see failure as a stepping stone to success. You failed, because that is something you did not know or you did not understand. You failed because there is something that you needed to learn that you failed to learn in the past.

So I particularly see failure as a stepping stone. For instance, when I was coming here, I missed my flight. I got to the airport on time and at the point of entry, I was asked to check in my luggage.

And by the time I went to do that, the gate had been closed. But because I was determined that I was going to attend this conference, I had to bear another cost of rebooking a flight. Somebody else would have given up. The best way to handle failure is to not give up. Do not get depressed because of that failure. Know how to correct yourself, so that next time you’re not going to do the same thing.

The Bible says that the righteous man falls seven times, but he rises up again. Just that process where you feel once does not mean that you will fall again.

I don’t know if you have heard about Abraham Lincoln. How many times he tried to become president? He was defeated for political positions over five times.

There was a time he lost his job and also failed in business. He had to face the death of his fiancée. He also suffered a nervous breakdown. But did he give up? No, he kept trying until he became a president. He became a president because of consistency and persistence.

He is acclaimed for his famous saying which goes, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

Your life is not over.

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