Worry and Stress

Worry and stress are like two evil serial killers. Either one of them will cause you great harm, but the way they do it is unique for each one. One may do it slowly while the other is quick. Yet make no mistake, both of these murderers will eventually kill you. You must recognize worry and stress inducing situations in your life and mitigate the subconscious and conscious reactions to them through reflection and prayer.

Many times you don’t even know the physical symptoms that you have are all related to a subconscious level of worry and stress. It took me a while to figure this out. I believe it manifests differently the older you get.

When I was in my early twenties many times the symptoms would manifest as mental tiredness and fatigue. Sometimes that would turn into low morale and a bad attitude toward work.

In my later twenties I started having symptoms that included my heart racing and dizziness. Of course I didn’t know what it was when it first started. This added even more worry because I thought I was having a heart attack each time it would happen. After having my heart checked by way of a physical stress test I found out that there was nothing wrong with my heart. And after I found that out, those symptoms went away. It’s as if once my mind found out my heart was fine that symptom of worry went away.

As I’ve gotten older the symptoms of worry and stress have changed into some odd and strange things. However I’ve learned to recognize when it’s happening.

Just know that the symptoms of stress and worry were manifesting as physical symptoms in my body. It does for everyone. The key is to identify that as the cause and work through the problem.

The thing is you won’t always know that you are “stressed”. Especially if you have become normalized to working through stressful situations. But when you add a touch of worry on top of those normally stressful situations, then you have to start recognizing the physical and mental manifestations of a “stressed out” season in your life. 

I’m starting to recognize the same issues in people I know. You may be able to recognize it too if you think about it a little. Do you work with a person who happens to get the flu every time a stressful situation or worrying issues pop up at the office? Its a subconscious reaction. The symptoms can differ, but the patterns will show if you think it through. 

Worry and stress can cause unexpected and unusual thoughts in your mind as well. These thoughts can even turn into physical actions when allowed to go too far without mitigation. As your circle of friends and even coworkers age, they will surely experience big life changes that can cause fairly rapid and quick onset stress and worry explosions. These events may not simply cause physically uncomfortable symptoms but can also cause very conscious and open reactions that can affect others. I’ve seen these things happen more often as I’ve gotten older. These actions include adultery, suicide, assault, protesting about nothing and other odd things.

The most common of these actions is probably arguing with a coworker or even a family member about absolutely nothing. Just really dumb things that don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of life. I know you’ve seen it. I saw two men in their forties acting like absolute children at work last week. I just sat in amazement  (slightly entertained) at these two grown men brought to sheer idiocy by a stressful moment with a touch of worry brought on by a prolonged periods of “restructuring” at my office. It happens.

The key is to recognize the symptoms by understanding the current work and life situations surrounding you and your acquaintances. Then mitigate by sharing the love of Christ and the promises that the Lord has given us through His Word. 

The examples of God bringing His people through some really stressful situations are abundant in the Bible. Read and share these examples and trust in the Lord to bring you through in His way. You won’t always know how or when. Yet God Is, and He has got you covered the way He has planned from the beginning. 

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