I was an expert, unfortunately, in stress. Not the science or study of it but the experience of living it. Ultimately (and this is my opinion) stress is caused by how we perceive the world around us and is largely based on our upbringing.
This explain why some people, those who are carefree or ruthless, are rarely affected by stress. The average man or woman however is affected and often its onset can be quick and debilitating. For example the last few days have been stressful for me through no control of my own.
I don’t think I have dealt with it all that well if I am honest with myself. Well enough of course, as in it hasn’t consumed me, but i could be better at fighting it off.
Stress can be sudden or quite gradual but its effects are the same nonetheless. Stress compels us to act contrary to how we were raised, what we believe, and who we are as people. I’ve done some extraordinary things when exposed to extreme levels of stress including a few things that I am too ashamed to admit.
On the whole though I have managed to keep it completely in check even during my much darker years. One of my previous and current strategies is to just retreat inwards. To be still, to be quiet, and to close off.
If I do this then I cannot cause trouble to myself or those around me. If I allowed myself to succumb to the compulsion in my mind during the more extreme moments I’d probably be in prison for serious assault by now!!!
The same could be said by the 99% of the populace I expect. We all joke about these things but this compulsion is perched behind us in the shadows. Unfortunately there are some people who have fallen to this compulsion. There are sadly even some that enjoy it.
Stress is a weapon of evil without any shadow of a doubt. It’s a way for an otherwise rational person to become irrational and, in a moment of craziness, do something they would never normally do. Sometimes this craziness will shape the entire rest of their lives.
Look around you and ask yourself who do I (honestly) cause stress to? Look around you and ask who (honestly) causes stress to me?
You will find the balance is very much in the direction of people causing you stress. Then ask another qualifying question – which of those people causing you stress is a Christian?
Do you see a pattern here?
I have nearly everywhere I have worked and nearly everywhere I have been. The reason I say this is because faith in God compels you to fight the stress around you, and thus to live in a manner more pleasing to him, which in turn decreases stress to others around you.
As I have stated before, simply being a Christian doesn’t make you a better person, but faith does equip you with necessary tools to fight against the evil around you. I used to work alongside a Christian and I used to work for a Christian.
Stress never really came into the equation even once during those times with exception of the normal pressures you would expect of work (but they never caused stress). Amongst the “unbelievers”, you will find stress will come from all angles, and without invitation, and with far more frequency than is desired.
The reason this happens is because of the focus on the self. They live for the here and now, for the material things, for the praise of their fellow man. They can be thoroughly nice and decent people but the focus is still on self regardless. Life is about here and now on planet earth.
It is when you abandon the self and serve God that the pieces begin to fall into place and stress and all evil begin to subside from your daily life. Share the word of Godwith your fellow man and like a ripple they will improve life around themselves at work and at home.
This will in turn touch others who will in turn repeat the process. Life could be so much more pleasant if we all turned to faith in God and began to focus on Him rather than the self.