Episode 153: How to Deal when Stress is a Heart Issue

Episode 153: How to Deal when Stress is a Heart Issue

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Stress is a part of our lives, but there is a healthy way to deal with it. Today my guest is a fellow working mom, Dr. Mariam Coaster and we are talking all about our internal relationship with stress and how our relationship with God plays into it. Join us, as Mariam shares practical tips on how we can self-assess our stress and give you strategies to show up as your best self when we find ourselves at our worst. This is part one of a two-part series. Join us next week as we move the conversation to discuss stress and our relationships.


Mariam Coaster Ph.D., LMFT (InRelationship.us; mariamcoaster.com) is a wife to a wonderful husband, and mother to two beautiful children, a two-year-old boy, and a 3-month-old girl. Professionally, she has a doctorate in neuroscience and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She primarily works with couples and women at her private practice in Franklin, TN. She is passionate about helping people grow towards healing and restoration in their closest relationships. She is also the co-founder of InRelationship, and a marriage workshop called 7 Conversations to Enrich your Marriage. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking up a new-found recipe, and being actively involved in her church.


Stress is a God-given opportunity to grow in humility, wisdom, and connection.

  • Humility because we recognize that we are not ultimately in control of our lives.

  • Wisdom because we can receive greater perspective and insight about our relationships.

  • Connection because God never intended for us to go through this life on our own.

Identifying stress in ourselves and our relationships. There are three internal stress indicators that God created in everyone:

1) Feelings: what emotions are coming up about God, ourselves, and others in this stressful situation?

2) Thoughts: what beliefs and cognition are coming up about God, ourselves and others regarding this stressful situation?

3) Body sensations – where in your body do you notice the stress? [Our brain processes stress by initiating the fight, flight or freeze mechanism. It also initiates us to seek out connection during stressful times.]

The internal stress indicators help access heart issues.

A heart issue is a desire to rely on or trust in anything more than God himself. Examples include a pride, self-righteousness, self-reliance, desperate need for approval, control, power, false identity, etc. Even good desires, when they become ruling or dominating desires, will become a stressor in relationships.


Mariam Coaster
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
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