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Spiritual Growth: The Spiritual Challenge of Modern Times (Part 1 of 2)

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Spiritual growth in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a Herculean task. Modern conveniences such as electronic equipment, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment through television, magazines, and the web have predisposed us to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and wants.

As a result, our concepts of self-worth and self-meaning are muddled. How can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually is to look inward

Introspection goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations.

Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must sustain and the bad traits you have to discard.

Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation. Like any skill, we can learn introspection; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you.

Here are some pointers when you introspect

  1. be objective
  2. be forgiving of yourself, and
  3. focus on your areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials

Religion and science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth. Science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual.

Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being.

In Psychology, realizing one’s full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow identified several human needs: physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence.

James earlier categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next.

Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development. Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God. Psychology view that self-development is an end by itself.

 

Continue reading the last part.

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Teenage Stress And Anxiety

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Stress and anxiety levels in teenagers have drastically increased over the last few decades.

Soon as the responsibilities of the world around them lay on their shoulders heavier, more and more teens are facing health problems both on the physical and on the emotional sides.

As a parent, it is hard to handle these conditions or often even know that your teens are facing them.

Many times, it is easy to chalk up the teenage stress and anxiety a child is facing as just normal teen problems. Yet, serious conditions are often present and should be addressed as quickly as possible.

Why Teens Suffer From Anxiety

Teens, just like adults will suffer from anxiety as well as from stress from several reasons. First, these conditions can be hereditary, and they can have a much greater likelihood of this happening to them if their parents have had conditions such as anxiety.

For the most part, teens and children who suffer from anxiety and from stress have factors in their lives that push them in that direction. For example, they may be faced with things like divorce of their parents, stress at school and even peer pressure.

Although most parents do not realize it, teens are under a great deal of pressure in many areas of their lives. Sometimes, the body and the mind react to those conditions in the way of anxiety and/or stress.

Symptoms To Notice

Often, these conditions may be overlooked. This is common because the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety are those things that most of us would relate to just normal, teen behavior.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to identify if there is a problem and treat it accordingly as it can be harmful to their health in the long run.

Symptoms of anxiety and high stress levels include:

· Feelings of uneasiness. Something just does not seem right although there may be nothing wrong
· Abdominal discomfort that does not seem to come from a physical condition
· Dry mouth
· Rapid heartbeat that is not due to physical exertion
· Dizziness
· Shortness of breath not associated with physical exertion
· Frequent need to urinate
· Tightness in the chest, sometimes escalating to true pain
· Diarrhea
· Problems with swallowing
· Insomnia
· Irritability or anger that seems unfounded
· Fear
· The feeling of just not being in control
· Inability to concentrate on tasks

Option Treatments

The treatments for high stress and anxiety affecting teenagers may include several things.

First, identifying and removing pressure is often necessary.

Second, the doctor may recommend a balanced diet, physical activity and good relaxation techniques.

Additionally, medications are available to treat anxiety problems, including benzodiazepine tablets.

Yet, medications should be considered with caution and for the worse cases as they generally have side effects that are not pleasant or healthy either.