Handling Stress

How do we handle stress? Do we see it as positive or negative? Most of us would run from stress. Who wants stress in their lives? Stress is known to cause health issues. In some cases it can endanger the heart. All my life I hear people say avoid stress at all costs. Avoid people that can cause you stress or at least spend less time with them. Avoid driving in heavy traffic, avoid overeating that can cause high insulin and health issues. Yes, I try to avoid different kinds of stresses in my life, but it is not always avoidable. So how do we handle the stress that just sneaks up on us in various situations?

-There are two kinds of stress, eustress and distress.

Eustress is the positive kind of stress that helps to motivates us and gives us the energy to move forward in what we are about to accomplish. For example, we could get this kind of stress when we are about to go on vacation. You are really excited to spend that time away, motivated to have fun, relax, and experience the new. Eustress gives us energy that lets us follow through on many tasks to get to our goal. We are happy and energized.

Eustress or positive stress, has the following characteristics:

  • Motivates, focuses energy
  • Is perceived as within our coping abilities
  • Feels exciting
  • Improves performance

Examples of positive eustress:

  • Vacation
  • New puppy/kitten
  • Moving
  • Job pay increase
  • Getting married
  • Having a baby
  • Getting good grades
  • Feeling good after exercising
  • Learning something new
  • Time with family or friends

Distress is the not-so-positive stress we all know about. This is the stress we want to avoid. It makes us tense.

Distress, or negative stress, has the following characteristics:

  • Causes anxiety or concern
  • Is perceived as outside of our coping abilities
  • Feels unpleasant
  • Decreases performance
  • Can lead to mental and physical problems

Examples of negative distress:

  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Job loss
  • Money problems
  • Unplanned events
  • Illness
  • Neglect/loneliness
  • Lack of sleep
  • Being around other stressful people
  • Worrying about the future

So what do we do with all the stress that life throws on us? How do we get through? There is only one way. We have to know that Jesus is with us in all these situations, positive and negative. Sometimes life hits us with distress situations, things that we cannot change and didn’t choose. We should see it as a challenge, and knowing that Jesus is by our side we can get through anything.

John 1:2-4 My brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you, for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and perseverance must complete its work so that you will become fully developed, complete, not deficient in any way.

last thought

Wow! We can get something out of stresses that we encounter. The testing of our faith produces perseverance, we become stronger that can lead us to produce fruit.



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