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What's the Deal with Stress?
Greetings Dear Sisters! Today we will talk about stress as part of our ongoing series on mental health. Stress is the state of mental, emotional and physical tension or pressure we experience because of external or internal stressors. Stressors can result from demanding psychological, social, physical or environmental circumstances and affect our overall well-being.
4 Things You Should Know About Stress
#1 Everyone experiences stress.
Stress is a part of life, no one can escape. We are limited beings living in contexts, which abound beyond our control. We do not have the power, nor the capacity, to manage all the internal and external demands on our lives. And so, when we come to face the reality of our limitations in the presence of life’s demands, we experience stress.
Although we all experience stress, we are not all stressed by the same things, nor do we respond to stress in the same ways. How we deal with stress is directly connected to our ability to cope. Our ability to cope with stress is one indicator of mental health.
#2 Stressors can be both positive and negative.
There are positive stressors that are related to pleasant things that occur in life, such as getting a promotion, buying a house, getting married, having a baby or graduating from college. These are changes in our external circumstances that are welcomed! However, they require adjustments, the severing of the old, new routines, more knowledge acquisition and a quicker ability to apply it. They make a deduction on our “cope bank”, requiring us to exercise our ability to deal with stress.
Negative stressors are related to the unpleasant things that occur in life, such as an excessive workload, failing an exam, losing a job, becoming homeless, filing for a divorce, a loved one or receiving a terminal medical diagnosis, can affect your ability to cope with the situation at hand. Just as with positive stressors, they place a demand on our “cope bank”. https://www.biorics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/background-info-positive-negative-stress.pdf.
#3 Your whole being signals when it is stressed.
#4 How we think about stressors shapes the kind of impact they will have on our lives.
“Interestingly, what matters is not the number of stressful situations that we are exposed to, nor the amount of stress that we have to withstand. More important is our perception and subjective interpretation of the stressor, and how we react to it [them].” (Psychology Today) .
Stress is inevitable. However whether it breaks us, or is used as a tool to fashion us, will be determined by the quality of our thinking. How blessed we are that we need not rely on our own perceptions and interpretations of life’s demands! God has invited His children to a new way. He has provided a way of escape for all who love Him.
He has said:
Sisters, God is still in control of everything. He is the Almighty God and our sovereign Lord. He has the whole world in His hands. There is no stress in your life He does not know about or that is too great for Him to manage. Cast all your cares on Him and He will sustain you. (Psalm 55:22). His Spirit is working within you to help you thrive under pressure. (Philippians 4:13).
Happy Temple Building!
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Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God who believes that as we seek the truth of God's Word, and humble ourselves to live in agreement with it, that we will experience the transformation which allows us to enter wholistic wellness: spirit, soul and body. She is the Founder and President of EarthBasic and leads its Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together. She is excited about this addition to the Be-Held Community, which will provide loving, sustainable, Christ-centered and well researched resources to support women in cultivating a life of wholistic self-care: spirit, soul, and body, which will in turn equip them to bless the generations in their care.