Stress Isn’t the Problem
Sure, it’s a problem, but there’s more than that…
Contrary to the thinking of many people, stress isn’t the problem. Too much unrelieved stress is the culprit.
~Leadership Pain, Samuel Chand
What’s stressing you out right now? If you’re like… everybody else in the world… you are dealing with stress of some kind.
Maybe it’s job related. You have deadlines and more work keeps coming in. Maybe it has to do with your family. Sick family members, or conversations that went horribly wrong at the last family gathering. Maybe you’re one of those people that “hates drama” but then goes off and starts all kinds of drama just to get attention, and now you “just can’t handle all the drama”.
The point is, we all have stress. What we need is not less stress, but better ways of coping with it.
In some respects, stress is like a garden hose with a kink in it. It’s a constant flow in our lives, but when it gets backed up, things start to go awry. We can’t water our garden if there’s a kink in the hose. We have to find some way to clear the blockage and get things moving again.
So, how do we relieve stress? How do we get it out of the system? The answer, believe it or not, is about as old as creation itself.
Whether or not you take the opening chapters of Genesis literally, there are some important lessons we need to learn that help us understand life in general. (And if you aren’t a Bible person, stay with me, I promise it’s worth it.)
In Genesis 2, God finishes with creation, and we are told that on the seventh day, God rested. Now, if God is as presented in Scripture, does God really need to rest? Is God tired? No, he takes the seventh day to enjoy the creation. To enjoy the fruits of his labors. To pause long enough to take it all in.
There is a natural rhythm to life. We go. We pause. We work. We rest. Animals hibernate. Grass stops growing for a season. The leaves fall to the ground. Nature itself has cycles of work and rest. This comes to be known as the Sabbath, and it gets observed different ways by different cultures. But the common denominator is that it is necessary. For all of us.
So, find some way to rest. Put things on hold for a day. In doing so, we can reconnect with the people and world around us in a meaningful way. And as you find those times, you will begin to discover a stress release valve that is going to help you in the long term.