1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.
Stress. How Are You Coping with It? Is it Killing You?
Life and stress–go hand in hand. There is no getting around it; you and I will experience lots of stress in our lives. I believe that the degree to which you effectively manage and cope with the stress in your life will, to a considerable extent, determine the degree to which you are healthy. When you turn to unhealthy behaviors to cope with the stress, your physical and emotional health will suffer. As well, your body’s immediate reaction to stress can cause physical symptoms.
When you are unhealthy or engaged in unhealthy habits, it prevented you from being your best!
There are many things and circumstances that can be stressors for a person. Inconveniences such as weather, traffic, and unexpected emergencies are a category of stressors. Chronic issues like relationship conflicts, job insecurity, financial strain or uncertainty, work problems, and long-term health issues can all be stressful. Things like a death of a loved one, a job change, a divorce, and a relocation to a new town can all be unsettling.
Early life trauma, and its associated memory, can be a unique source of stress for a person. Medical research shows that negative experiences from decades past can be underlying issues that impact a person’s health-related behaviors in the present. Recurrent emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, an alcoholic parent, and a single-parent home are examples of childhood trauma that might cause health problems in adulthood. (Read more about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study)
The Impact of Poorly Managed Stress on Physical Health
Stressors like those previously mentioned and other challenging life circumstances can affect our behaviors. For example, many men turn to food to cope with stress. Others turn to the use of drugs, alcohol, or pornography. Still, others light up a cigarette. Some burn the midnight oil surfing the Internet and pay for it the next day because they have a night of inadequate sleep. There are innumerable unhealthy ways in which a person might attempt to cope with the various stressors in their life.
Poorly managed stress, especially chronic stress, can also adversely affect your physical health.
If you recognize that your life is spiraling out of control because of excessive or chronic stress, you may benefit from seeking and receiving help from a professional.
Seeking Help and Faith as Resources for Coping
Your faith can also be a resource, an anchor, which keeps you steady in times of stress. If embraced and practiced, many biblical principles can be a cornerstone for your life and enable you to live a life that is less affected by stressful circumstances. Read more about stress and health from a faith perspective at this link on my website–Stress, Health, and Faith.
Stress can even kill you if you don’t manage or cope with it adequately. For example, many fatal heart attacks stem from a stressful event or series of stressful events.
Uncommen men make a regular habit of taking time to reflect on their life and evaluate how they’re managing their stress. And they also practice habits to cope with their stressors effectively. Because when they do a good job managing their stressors, they create an environment within themselves to be healthier.
- How do you cope with your stress?
- Is it a healthy or unhealthy way?
- Could poorly managed chronic stress be taking a toll on your mental, emotional, or physical health?
I challenge us all to address our stress management better. When Uncommen men are healthier, they’re better able to do what God put them on earth to do.