Stress: The #1 Issue Behind Most of Our ProblemsJul 29, 2020
THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM THAT PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY STRUGGLE WITH IS STRESS.
Stress (anxiety, worry) is another word for fear. Stress is the number one issue behind most of our problems—physical, emotional, social, addiction, and relational. As much as 80% of all our physical and mental problems are stress-related.
The long-term activation of the stress-response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that follow can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including:
Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders, memory and concentration impairment
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
Obesity and other eating disorders
Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon
It is also one of the major triggers that great cravings or self-destructive behavior. Stress also ends up depleting our energy which is why we have Starbucks on every corner. We are addicted to sugar and energy drinks to try and compensate and keep going. For example: The US is only about 4% of the world’s population and we use over 80% of the worlds pain medications. Also, stress makes us irritable which affects our relationships in so many ways.
We know that anxiety and stress are other words for fear, and worry is the primary way we create anxiety. During my seminars, I ask the ladies, “What do women worry about?” They all answer “everything.” I explain to them that worry creates anxiety and stress, which have similar neurochemical effects on the brain as cocaine. After a while, worry can be addictive because you get energy from the emotions created by it—anxiety and stress (fear) can become subconscious and habitual. It can also be a means to outrun depression.
ANYTHING THAT SPEEDS UP THE BODY DULLS THE AWARENESS OF A PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN.
How does anxiety relate to belief systems? In order for anxiety to be created, you have to believe something bad is going to happen (e.g. worry). The actual belief is mostly subconscious and you usually need help to name it. Stress and anxiety are kind of nebulous and hard to just control.
But when you call it fear, fear has a belief system which can be dealt with. The belief is expressed in the emotion. For example, if you are anxious or stressed, ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Try this and see what happens. Once you name the fear it reduces the stress/anxiety, then you can do something about it. The answer is found in the form of a belief system (i.e., what you believe, or fear, is going to happen). You may need others to help you “name it”.
One reason so many people are turning to eastern religions and philosophies is because they are focused on relieving stress through practical disciplines and exercises like breathing, yoga and meditation. What is the church (and Christianity in general) doing to help people overcome stress in a practical way? We might have to look outside the box for things that will work. I still use many of the tools I learned in my sixties hippie journey…
THE AREAS IN WHICH YOU HAVE FEAR, ANXIETY, AND STRESS ARE BASICALLY THE AREAS IN WHICH YOU DON’T TRUST GOD.
The areas in which you trust Him are the areas in which you have peace. When you try to control people, life or circumstances you create stress by using your will to get what you think you want or need. You push against life rather than flow with it, which can be exhausting (give Matthew 6 a read).
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7
Here are some practical tools to overcome fear and its devastating consequences:
I have been very impressed with the Christian daily meditation app, called Soulspace Christian Meditation, which is very well done and I highly recommend it. Several of the rehabs using Genesis have incorporated it, giving the clients practical tools and skills to overcome stress and reduce relapse. And it’s free!
You can also use this Genesis Meditation tool for stress.
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