Stress can be generated by negative situations and also positive experiences --- marriage, job promotion etc. It can be generated any time a behavioural change occurs, usually as a result of uncontrollable situations or situations in which we have minimal control. How we handle these situations determines the stress we feel.
In United States corporations between fifteen and thirty-five percent of adults suffer from hyper tension. It has reached epidemic proportions. The same things that bring pleasure may also bring stress.
The body has involuntary responses --- heart, lungs, metabolism etc. There is a specific behavioural change brought on by a certain amount of stress. It is the 'fight or flight' response, the feeling to be driven against a wall. The stress may build up or we may be able to release it.
Stress is an important component of Culture shock.
This diagram shows the contrast in stress levels over time when not dealt with (left) against dealt with (right).
We may not be aware of the increase in stress. It may be necessary to use an EMG machine at the hospital. Some stress may be good for you but the build up in stress definitely isn't. A test of YWAMers in Holland and France showed many to have high stress levels.
The amount of stress an individual can 'handle' depends on a variety of factors including: diet, exercise, family history, make-up, personality etc.
Dealing With Stress / Releasing Stress
- Remind yourself that life is basically unfinished and if you don't complete today's list there is always tomorrow.
- Begin to listen to people and let them complete their own sentences.
- Try to reduce multiple thinking or doing.
- Don't judge others by your 'hurry sickness'.
- Ask; "How much will this matter five years from now?" Gain some perspective on the task.
- Contrast the urgent with the important. Urgent things (e.g. finish a speech) tend to be done first, but don't forget to do the important things (e.g. spend time with your wife/family), also.
- Sometime each day relax your whole body. Lie down on the carpet in your office for five to ten minutes per day.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:25-27
"We can subtract cubits from it by stress!"
Article started with contribution from Phil Blakely
Measuring Your Stress Levels
It is easier to see stress in others than in ourselves. The following is a handy test that will help you evaluate your level of stress. Instructions are below.
Scale of Impact
|Death of spouse|| |
|Marital separation|| |
|Jail term|| |
|Death of close family member|| |
|Personal injury or illness|| |
|Fired at work|| |
|Marital reconciliation|| |
|Change in health of family member|| |
|Sex difficulties|| |
|Gain of new family member|| |
|Business readjustment|| |
|Change in financial state|| |
|Death of close friend|| |
|Change to different line of work|| |
|Change in number of arguments with spouse|| |
|Mortgage over $10,000|| |
|Foreclosure of mortgage or loan|| |
|Change in responsibilities at work|| |
|Son or daughter leaving home|| |
|Trouble with in-laws|| |
|Outstanding personal achievement|| |
|Wife begins or stops work|| |
|Begin or end school|| |
|Change in living conditions|| |
|Revision of personal habits|| |
|Trouble with boss|| |
|Change in work hours or conditions|| |
|Change in residence|| |
|Change in schools|| |
|Change in recreation|| |
|Change in church activities|| |
|Change in social activities|| |
|Mortgage or loan less than $10,000|| |
|Change in sleeping habits|| |
|Change in number of family get-togethers|| |
|Change in eating habits|| |
|Minor violations of the law|| |
Determine which life events have occurred in your life over the past two years and add up your total stress score. If your total score is under 150, you are less likely to be suffering the effects of cumulative stress. If it is between 150 and 300, you may be suffering from chronic stress, depending on how you perceived and coped with the particular life events that occurred. If your score is over 300, it is likely you are experiencing some detrimental effects of cumulative stress. Please note that the degree to which any particular event is stressful to you will depend on how you perceive it.
Resource: 1967, by Pergamon Press, Inc.