Stress management workshops and spiritual retreat

Since 10 April 2012, JMP–L’s Community Development Program has been organizing a series of workshops on stress management. The workshops take place on a weekly basis at the JMP–L office, in collaboration with the organization “Development & Beyond” and the Armenian Fund for Health Insurance in Lebanon.

A workshop session
A workshop session

The following five topics have so far been covered: “Definition and Causes of Stress,” “Symptoms and Signs of Stress,” “How Does Stress Develop and What Can Happen if it is not Managed,” “The Effects of Stress on the Human Body,” and “Stress Management Methods.” All of the topics were of great interest for the 20 women and girls participating in the program.

Within the framework of this program, a Spiritual Retreat was organized on 11 May 2012, at the Evangelical Center of Dhour El Shoueir, with the participation of the following presenters: Father Megerditch Keshishian, Rev. Datev Basmajian, and Varouj Mazmanian.

The coordinator of JMP–L’s Community Development Program, Taline Ladoyan, opened the meeting, stressing the importance of spiritual nourishment in managing stress. She said that the meeting was organized in this venue surrounded by nature in order for participants to become detached from their stressful daily lives and to be able to completely focus on the presentations.

The participants of the spiritual retreat.
The participants of the spiritual retreat.

The first presenter was Rev. Datev Basmajian who talked about how to overcome stress and misery through spiritual nourishment and prayer.

The second presentation was given by Mr. Varouj Mazmanian, who spoke about the importance of individual and collective prayer in our lives in general, and particularly as a way to manage stress. Per the suggestions of the participants, the presentation ended with a collective prayer led by the presenter.

Next, Ladoyan spoke about the importance of creative and positive thinking. Using a PowerPoint presentation and working individually with the participants, she stressed the importance of viewing problems from different perspectives and of adopting a positive approach when dealing with difficult problems or negative situations. She added that it is important to forget the negative experiences of the past and live the present in a positive manner.

Following the lunch break, the participants had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Father Megerditch Keshishian on “The Christian Identity of the Armenian Family, its Importance for Spiritual Nourishment, and the Role of Women as Mothers in the Promotion of These Values.”

The workshop series on stress management will continue until late June. Upcoming topics include the following: “Problem Management,” “Understanding the Psychology of our Children and the Kinds of Stress they Face,” “Menopause and Stress: Are they Directly Related to Each Other?”, and “Cultural Differences in Stress Management.” The program will also include two sessions on physical activity and dance.

Read more details in the longer Armenian version of this article published in The Aztag Daily.