Updated: October 26, 2016
Are you feeling stressed out today? What worries you the most? And what causes stress for the people around you – family, friends, and colleagues? Author Susan Lenzkes conducted an informal poll to find out.
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Why Are You Feeling Stressed?
What causes stress? Lenzkes shared her findings in Sunshine and Storms, a devotional from Discovery House Publishers. Her piece called “The Pressure’s On” inspired this post.
Here’s an exercise to help you understand why you’re feeling stressed. Grab a pen and paper, and list five or ten issues you’re facing today. When you’re done, compare your list to the one below. Any similarities?
According to the men and women who took the Lenzke poll, here are the most common stressors in everyday life:
- Money problems
- Work-related issues
- Illness or pain
- Relationship troubles
- Criticism and rejection
- Red lights and traffic
- Watching the news
- Noisy neighbors or pets
- Calendars and clocks
- Cell phones
Some of the people who took the poll experienced stress for other reasons. Bad attitudes, indecision, procrastination, and feelings of inadequacy topped their list of causes.
Lenzkes said they’re closer to the heart of the matter.
Stress Versus Pressure
Many people confuse stress with pressure. It’s helpful to understand the difference. Here’s how Lenzkes explained it.
The first list – the annoyances, difficulties, and interruptions of life – are pressures. The second list describes reactions to the pressures.
Stress occurs when external pressures collide with unhealthy internal reactions. Things like bad attitudes, unrealistic expectations, and resistance to change.
Change From the Inside Out
When we understand that stress is a reaction to pressure, we realize our need for change. And the change must occur from the inside out.
“This adds more stress because we know [we can’t change] our own hearts,” wrote Lenzkes.
Thankfully, God can change us. In fact, it’s His job to change our hearts. Our job is to trust Him.
The Bible tells us to rest in the Lord (Psalm 62:5) and let Him work in and through us. We’ll learn how to respond to pressure as God changes us from the inside out.
Over to You
Now it’s YOUR turn to chime in. How do you respond to stress? What will you do different after reading this post?
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