Stress, oh my, oh my. So much of it this time of year, and you couple that with the economic stress that has been upon so many people, and you are left with serious trouble, at a time that should be nothing more than joyful! I love this time of year, the music… I play it all year round, but it means so much more to me as we head into December.
I like it cold this time of year, 66 degrees is the projected high today, so not so winter-like right now, but that will change, and we’ll get some nice cool weather to bundle up to. So lets dig into this stress thing, and see whats up with the number one killer.
Is Brooke Stressed? Nope, just having fun! But she might be stressed when she realizes I used this picture! I’ll help her understand trusting vs. coping.
Yep, that’s right, stress is the NUMBER ONE overall killer. Medical interventions top the scale, but if we pull back and consider WHY so many people die from medical interventions, or from cancer, or from heart disease, we will realize that the number one cause of the WHY, is the nervous system. Indeed, it is heavily based on the slow degradation of your spine through poor posture and living the cultural lifestyle… couch potato living is bad. But it is also so heavily based on the damage to the nervous system that comes from stress.
Have you ever thought about how far reaching stress is? You have a brain, controlling every single function in your body, and it is doing so endlessly, without pause, without stopping, without taking a day off. This is never ending and ultimately the most important thing going on anywhere in your body, bar none. And every time you let yourself walk down a path of stress, you weaken it. Notice how a moment of stress can cause you to lose control of your body? The need for an immediate bathroom, or a jump in heart rate, sweating of the palms, and more. It is a normal process, but when overdone, it becomes a serious issue.
So what to do? I just watched Act Of Valor, great movie… and what of that life? Should nobody enter into a life that has the known outcome of stressful situations? Of course not, there is no way to insulate yourself from stress, but apart from God, stress has no meaningful way to be dealt with. You simply work through it to the next phase of your life. But I look at stress as the stone that sharpens the sword. I am not working at becoming better at coping, I am working on becoming better at trusting. If you read my Daily Sprout last week about being thankful, you can probably understand where I am coming from.
All that I have been through is nothing compared to some people, and nothing compared to many of you, but I have been blessed with opportunities to use each stress as a step towards trust and faith. I like challenges, because they give me opportunities to trust God’s outcome, no matter what it is. Firebreather Challenge in Connecticut was another great example of this. As I sat waiting for the first heat to start, with only one person to help me, and absolutely no volunteers anywhere to be seen, and God came through. I sat there, alone at the far end of the obstacle course field, and I prayed, “God… I don’t know what you have planned here, but I am giving it to you, so please do something cool, or at least give me a great outcome on the other end of this”.
All was well, and I love the opportunity to grow in my trust and confidence. If you don’t believe in God, I will tell you that the most important thing for you to do when it comes to stress, is simply to avoid it as much as you can. And the first step to avoiding stress, is to stop having expectations. Of any kind. Be prepared for all outcomes, never expect, simply be at work in your life, and move in the direction that you wish to end up. Stress is a killer, take it serious.
Be well, be blessed – Dr. E