The Fourth Part of a Ten Part Series on Anxiety and Stress Which Began on February 23, 2016
What Is Stress?
Not all of us will have an experience of a panic attack, but each of us will face times in our lives when we become over-loaded.
Simply stated, stress is a person’s response to an over-laded life. Daily tasks, job-related duties, and volunteer projects may not appear staggering when viewed individually. But when they begin to layer one upon another, they reach overwhelming proportions.
We actually need stress in God-managed proportions for normal growth and development. Referred to as eustress from the Greek prefix meaning good, good stress motivates us to get our tasks accomplished. Often accompanied by an adrenaline flow, eustress provides the added energy level for peak performance. But problems occur when we assume burdens and responsibilities which God did not plan for us. We take on more than God intended. When we accumulate too much stress, we move from eustress to distress.
We are created by God with a limit on our capacity to carry stress. We can be overloaded with disastrous results. If we choose to consistently pile task upon task, the consequences are predictable: we will crash and burn! On the other hand, if we choose to run the marathon of life within our God-given limits, we will reach the finish line in good time by His grace.
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
Dr James P Porowski Licensed Psychologist Raleigh NC February 28, 2016