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Stress is good for you

What do I mean that stress is good? Here's an example.

Remember the "biodome" in Tucson? For one year a few scientists were locked into a habitat consisting of domes. It was sealed from the outside world and the experiment was designed to see if it could be completely self-sustaining. It had to produce its own air, water and food.

Well, it wasn't a huge success. One of the problems was the tress fell over. Because there was no stress on the trees due to lack of wind they didn't dig their roots in deep enough and as they grew taller they simply fell over.

So what do we learn from this? We need some stress in our lives to make us strong.

Pressure or stress causes us to dig in, dig deep and hang on. It builds our resolve and our character. It keeps us alert and focused. It can be a life saver in a "fight or flight situation" helping us to respond quickly and with enough energy. We all need some stress in our lives.


Stress is bad for you


Okay, most of us when we think of stress think of that kind oToo Busyf stress that causes us to feel overwhelmed, filled with anxiety and burned out. This type of stress, when not controlled, can cause a lot of damage physically, emotionally and mentally.

Bad stress can come from things close at hand such as relationships, work and health, or more general such as the economy and world news. Learning to deal with this type of stress is critical to healthy living.


Effects of too much bad stress


Physical problems:

    overwhelming fatigue

    headaches

    panic attack

    bowel problems

    nausea and vomiting


When physical symptoms arise but you can't find a source of stress causing it, it may be a physical problem that needs your doctor's attention. A check up might be the best thing for you at that point.


Emotional problems:

    irritability

    depression

    thoughts of suicide or hurting others

    restlessness or nervousness

    inability to focus

    constant worry or anxiety

    becoming overly self-focused


When emotional symptoms arise but you can't find a source of stress causing it, it may be that a counselor is needed to help identify the problem and bring healing.


Relationship problems:

    arguments

    blaming

    distrust

    pressuring

    distance

    nagging


When relationship problems arise and you can't find the source of stress causing it, it may be that a counselor is needed to bring relational health.


Dealing with destructive stress


So, we need good stress but when we get too much stress it turns harmful. First, figure out where it is coming from.


    Is it one big problem or many little ones piled on you?

    Is it work, relationship, a past issue?


Once you start to identify the source you can work on a solution.


    Can you break the one big problem into manageable steps?

    Can you deal with each little problem one at a time?

    Can you delegate?

    Can you take a break and breathe and think?

    Do you need outside help?

    Do you need to see your doctor or therapist?

    Set reasonable, obtainable goals.


Stress that overwhelms and is left unattended WILL do damage to you.


Learn to manage your stress levels, get help when you need it and enjoy the breeze when it comes.

~ In Christ, Dr. Kim West




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