Randal A. Wright taught an Education Week class in a packed JSB auditorium on Thursday called “Learn to Mess Less with Stress to Enjoy Life More.” Wright is a life coach and an author with a PhD in family studies.
Wright defined stress as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension. He talked about a stressful time in his life when both of his sons were on missions at the same time. Wright said he used priesthood blessings as a stress reliever to get through that trial. Wright also suggested reading scriptures to remove ourselves from stress.
“When we read the Book of Mormon, the Spirit can relieve stress and contention,” Wright said. “When we delve into the scriptures, our mind is so far off our stress.”
Wright discussed prayer as a stress reliever in addition to priesthood blessings and scripture study.
“Pray through everything,” Wright said. “We just need one moment to get us through.”
Wright offered another piece of advice for conquering stress.
“Count our blessings and be grateful,” Wright said.
Wright told a story of two seven-year-old boys, one of whom had a pet turtle, and was showing it to his friend.
“You sure are lucky to have a turtle,” the friend said. “All I have is a dog and a cat and a horse.”
Wright used this story to show how we often don’t see the blessings right in front of us, and that can make us stressed.
“We have work to do,” Wright said. “We need to look at the positive side of life.”
Wright said that one of the most important things he learned came from an elderly man in his ward. This man was always happy and willing to serve, and he told Wright that life is always just a matter of two choices.
“We have two choices,” Wright said. “It all comes down to that. We have two choices. We can be happy or sad; we can be stressed or not stressed. Turn to the Lord, and let Him provide comfort.”