Stretched to the Limit


Stress affects many of us; life is stressful and we need to be able to recognise and manage it.

External circumstances can cause inner turmoil and stress is the way that we respond physically, mentally and spiritually. Stress makes demands upon us. If we have the capacity to absorb or manage stress we may adapt well and even flourish, but if we’re not able to; some part of our system will break down and we can end up like a flat battery, all used up!

Some Symptoms of Stress

The whole person is affected.

Physical

Tiredness

Headaches

Digestive problems

Under/over eating

Pounding heart

Emotional

Sad

Anxious

Scared

Angry

Short tempered

Mental

Concentration and memory problems

Confusion

Hopelessness

Behavioural

Isolation

Irritability

Cynicism

We can feel far from God, spiritually dry and experience a loss of faith and purpose in life.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Read Matt. 11 v. 28-30 ‘Are you tired….’

Pattern your response to stress on scripture. Phil 4 v. 6-7. Psalm 23. Luke 12 v.22-40. Luke 5 v.15.

Ask God to help you prioritise your life.

Make a commitment to fitness. Regular exercise releases mood-enhancing endorphins.

Watch what you are eating.

Sunshine stimulates the pineal gland, which looks after our internal clock.

Learn to relax, listen to soothing music.

Get plenty of sleep.

Pull the plug on your phone

Drop excessive Facebook use, yes, really.

Develop time management

Examine your ‘people pleasing’ behaviour.

Learn when to let go.

Trust God.

Its hard work but you can’t afford not to try, for our relationships, work and health depend upon it.

We need to take the issue of stress seriously and own that we have a problem, otherwise any attempts to change our lifestyle will be half-hearted. A good idea is to keep a ‘stress diary’ for a month and record the circumstances’ when we feel undue pressure.

We do not have a gospel where nothing goes wrong in life and God does care when we are tired and weary, when we cry Jesus feels it. People were not designed to carry life’s loads alone, let God do the ‘heavy lifting’.


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© 2020 Riverside Church (Southwell)