In the 1920s, Hans Selye noticed that no matter what his patients were in the hospital for they all seemed to be under physical stress. He determined that this stress was coming from irregularities in the body’s function.
Others said, well, what about psychological stress such as the loss of a loved one, frustration, tending to an ill child, or work problems? And it was agreed that those circumstances could also bring on this non-specific phenomenon called stress and the very real physical reactions associated with it.
Well, if stress is a real thing then shouldn’t everyone react the same way when a stressor is present in their life? Some people are stressed by a roller coaster and others are not. Some are stressed by the idea of jumping out of an airplane and others love it. And so the study of stress was born!
Although we all have different reactions to various stressors in life, there are some things we all have in common when feeling stressed.
The recipe for stress is: N.U.T.S.!
Novelty - something new you have not experienced before (Think: new software you have to learn for work, the birth of your first child)
Unpredictability - something you had no way of knowing would occur (Think: a surprise bad report from a doctor, getting in a car accident)
Threat to the ego - your competence as a person is called into question (Think: not getting the promotion at work, your methods being questioned)
Sense of Control - you feel you have little or no control over a situation (Think: your coworker's irritating attitude, a traffic jam that makes you late for an important appointment)
These ingredients bring out a stress response and the release of stress hormones. We do not develop stress-related problems like depression or heart disease by being exposed to stressors alone. It is our body’s response to these psychological stressors – the release of stress hormones – that can lead to poor health outcomes. Even anticipating a stressful situation can be worse than actually being in one because you can chew it over endlessly the whole time secreting stress hormones.
To bust through stress you’ll need to reduce the number of ingredients you face on a daily basis or you’ll need to not allow the pressure of them into your mind and body.
Stressbusting is the act of reducing stressors in our lives as well as responding differently when they do come. Stressbusting is something you can learn, practice and become more proficient at.
Remember how the doctors said that stress is a non-specific phenomenon? Doctors study physics which is learning about physical matter. While stress falls into the very interesting realm of quantum physics. Stress is a spiritual problem. You can’t see it but it’s very real and has very real physical results.
So, how do you fight an invisible enemy? It takes spiritual warfare. Stressbusting is spiritual warfare. Stay tuned as we’ll talk more about the art of spiritual warfare/stressbusting in blogs to come.
The highest weapon of spiritual warfare we have is the presence of God. We come into His presence where every need we have is taken care of. Practicing God's presence doesn't have to mean just going to church, reading your Bible and praying (although those are all good!). Check out this Ultimate Guide with 100 ways to connect with God -- my free gift to you.