Updated on October 30, 2017
Feeling stressed out today? What worries you most? And what causes stress for the people around you – your family, friends, and colleagues? Christian author Susan Lenzkes conducted an informal poll to find out.
Why Are You Feeling Stressed?
What causes stress? Lenzkes polled a sampling of men and women. Then she shared her findings in Sunshine and Storms, a devotional book 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 pencil and paper. Then 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 people Lenzkes polled, these are the 10 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
But some of those who were polled said they experienced stress for other reasons. Bad attitudes, indecision, procrastination, and feelings of inadequacy topped their list of stressors.
Lenzkes believes they are closer to the heart of the matter.
Stress Versus Pressure
Many of us confuse “stress” with “pressure.” It’s helpful to understand the difference. Here’s how Lenzkes explained it in Sunshine and Storms.
Consider the survey results above. The first list – the annoyances, difficulties, and interruptions in life – highlights some of the pressures we experience in life.
The second list is different. It describes our reactions to life’s 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. But God can change us. In fact, it’s His job to change us. 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.
And Now, Over to You
Thank you for reading my post. Now it’s YOUR turn to chime in. How do you respond to stress? What will you do different after reading this post?
I would love to hear how you deal with stress. Let’s fill the comments with friendly conversation. Scroll to the end to leave a reply, ask a question, or just say hello.
And if you liked this post, please give it a share.