Stress = Drain
Have you ever felt physically or emotionally drained? That is what health authorities call stress. Stress is any mental, emotional, or physical strain that may threaten the health of the body or may have an adverse effect on the body’s functioning. A lot of things can get you stressed out. A good example is making lifestyle changes or just carrying out normal daily tasks. It is as common as that. So if you are thinking that you are exempted from stress, you better have a re-think. Coping with stress is an important subject because stress puts the body at risk of burnout.
Types of Stress
Some stresses are actually good for us. They cannot harm us. If anything, they can even push us to greater achievement. Bad stress is too much stress. Too much stress can lead us to many health problems.
Causes of Stress
Some common causes of stress include
- recent death/loss of a loved one or valuable thing
- lack of money or other resources
- inadequate sleep, rest,
- regular family, business or organizational problems/conflicts
- changing jobs or home
- getting sacked from a job
- severe illness
- lack of good relationship with God, colleagues at work or disobedience to instructions of superiors
Symptoms of Stress
Stress may cause such symptoms as
- raised blood pressure
- mental/emotional problems
- endocrine disorders
- skin eruptions e.g. eczema
- digestive problems e.g. stomach ulcers
- changes in menstrual pattern and orgasmic dysfunction in women
- impotence and premature ejaculation in men
- worsened asthma
- chronic or recurrent disabling headaches or back pain
- and so on
How much stress one can handle varies from person to person. Stress can complicate an illness by preventing normal recovery, prolonging pain or sustaining disability.
To cope with stress,
- Rest: have sufficient rest each day. There should be time for work and time for rest and sleep.
- Meditation: “tune in to” and give complete attention to something pleasant or a portion of God’s Word, if you are a Christian and silently repeat it to yourself daily.
- Exercise: adopt a good exercise programme. I recommend that you do some domestic chores that can make you sweat and take daily walks for not less than 4-5 times a week.
- Switching off: try not to call stressful situations to mind. Forgive all who offend you on a daily basis. Bare your mind before sleeping each day.
- Muscle tensing and relaxing: close your eyes. Take a series of deep breaths. Then start with the muscle groups in your face. Consciously tense them and hold the contraction for a few seconds. Then consciously relax them. Continue with all the muscle groups in the body: neck, shoulders, hands, abdomen, back, and legs.
- Relationship: build a strong and vibrant relationship with God, your spouse, if you have one, friends, family, colleagues, and other people.
- Mentor-care: stay close to your mentor. Seek counsel from him on confusing matters before taking steps. Respect, and never despise, him!
- Obey instructions: if you are under authority, obey instructions of leadership to stay stress-free.
- Giving: we must learn to give to fellow men, liberally. Give of your talents, time, resources, energy, intellect, and so on.