Saturday, November 15, 2008


I see stress taking an incredible toll on people. Sleep disturbances. Increased worry and panic. Pacing. Overreacting. Crying. Outbursts of anger. Overeating. Hand-wringing. Road rage. Out of control spending. Poor choices. Non-existent boundaries and margins. Addictions. And the list goes on.

We need to finally get the fact that much in our lives is simply not in our control. As much as we grasp and strain and try to manipulate, we have no power in many situations that we're confronted with. And that produces more stress. And although we might say we believe that God ultimately is the judge of the world and calls the final shots, it seems that we just can't let IT go ... whatever the all-powerful IT is in our lives.

And it's wrecking havoc on our bodies. Psalm 139 tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made ... and that we know that full well. But that head knowledge hasn't quite made it's way to our hearts ... and the toll on our bodies becomes greater.

The following should serve as a wake-up call to those of us who haven't quite gotten it yet - our spirits, minds, and bodies are intricately and powerfully connected. That's how God made us. Read on ... and then choose how you want to respond. With His help, you do have the power to make this choice.
Go For It ~

"Almost everyone finds stress annoying and unwanted in their lives, but not everyone knows how dangerous stress can be - especially when it stays in your body for a long time. Stress and its adverse effects directly affect certain parts of our bodies.

Stress begins in the brain. There is a sudden unexpected surge of stress hormones when you feel anxiety. When these hormones are released, sleeping and resting are nearly impossible. Though being extremely energetic is good when one is working, the human body is not built for such a state for long periods of time. If the hyper-activity is extended too much, one will eventually experience headaches, mood swings, aggressiveness, and a loss of the ability to concentrate on a given task. During this time, it becomes difficult to retain information and short-term memory can be affected.

There is a common misconception that men are less susceptible to stress compared to women and this idea is now being challenged. Studies reveal that the difference between men and women is not stress susceptibility, but their way of dealing with stress. Too much stress also stops the function of the hypothalamus which is where the brain regulates emotion. When we are stressed, the hormones that make us feel better, endorphins, are not well regulated. Thus, we lack energy to deal with problems and tasks, and we eventually feel unwell.

One's lungs are also affected by stress, as one will more likely experience hyperventilation when he or she is under a lot of stress. It is a natural response for our body to demand more oxygen when it feels in danger or uncomfortable. Too much inhaling of oxygen will cause dizziness and a sharp pain on the chest. Asthma and other respiratory problems can be triggered if there is too much inhalation of oxygen.

When one is under stress, the adrenaline resulting from this state will dilate the eyes, thus improving one's vision. However, it also might cause eye ticks. Over time, your eyes become overused, over-stimulated, and fatigued.

Uncontrolled stress also dries out the mouth, and leads to dehydration - something we all know is uncomfortable and unhealthy. Clenching jaws and grinding teeth are also normal mannerisms of people when they undergo stress." - Ed Schaeffer, Strength for Life Newsletter
With God's help, I have the power to respond in a healthy way
to the stress-filled situations in my life.
I will make the following choices this week:




  1. Linda - This is a great eye-opener. "Stress begins in the brain." This is so true.

    It's one thing to be aware of the toll stress has on us emotionally, mentally, and physically. But it doesn't end there. So important is the development of a routine (or set of routines) to insulate us from the negative side effects of stress -- where the rubber hits the road.

    Your last section of the post (3 things I'm going to do this week) is a great way to integrate the awareness into the walk.

    Thanks for the post.

    Scott Couchenour, Certified Life Coach

  2. Yes! The development of new responses and healthier routines is a must. We've got to make the choice to get rid of the old "tapes" that play in our heads, and, with the courage that God provides, begin to choose to respond to life in more positive ways!

    Thanks for your comment, Scott ~


  3. I enjoyed your post about stress Linda. Wanted you to know I make a link back to you and a reference to it today on my Faith and Health Connection blog..

    Blessings to you,


  4. Thanks for commenting, Dale. There certainly is a link between faith and health - our minds, bodies, and souls are wonderfully and intricately intertwined.

    What a Creator!

    Blessings ~


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