What if instead of crumbling into a fretful pile of overwhelm fears, you could step into a more resilient spirit? Considering new ways of embracing the daily possibilities God sends your way may mean gaining a better understanding of why you need stress in your life.
Perhaps the elimination of all stress sounds like the perfect path to personal peace, when in actuality, embracing the right kind of stress increases our capacity for peace.
Life’s stresses, or pressures while certainly overwhelming, have the ability of creating opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. With a little discernment and fortitude, we can reframe our view on stress, opening a whole new path to stress management.
sorting life’s stresses
Recently reworking my demanding schedule highlighted the higher levels of stress and various pressures which were fast becoming unmanageable.
Forgetting tasks, missing deadlines, and a general lack of focus all pointed to increasing pressures, none of which could be reallocated or delegated to someone else.
Yet continuing to carry them seemed impossible.
As I brought these burdens to the Lord, hoping to cast the whole lot on Him (1 Peter 5:7), instead, it became clear perhaps at least some stress actually increased my strength rather than diminishing it.
Yes, you need stress in your life, but only the right kind of stress will motivate and grow you.
But what does the right kind of stress or pressure look like?
Even though our culture, and even our own wishes prefer eliminating stress, eustress, a positive form of stress necessary for growth provides many benefits.
Both eustress and every day or chronic stress cause the same chemical reaction in the brain; but eustress feels motivating and inviting, while everyday stress feels defeating and overwhelming.
The basic difference between the two comes in realizing every day or chronic stress actually results in distress, due to the lack of emotional, mental, or physical energy, or resources available to handle the adversity before you.
Conversely, eustress produces a positive feeling because you have everything you need to overcome a particular situation, it simply requires a bit more energy and initiative. Which ultimately pushes you outside your comfort zone and into personal and spiritual growth.
“For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us like silver.”
benefits of stress in your life
Moving from a place of viewing all stress as bad requires discernment. Reviewing stress and pressures in my own life revealed the obvious self-inflicted stress of poor time management and taking on too many “extras”.
But my review also revealed some pressures outside my control.
In fact, some of the pressures came from God in the form of trials. The Apostle Paul spoke in detail about the pressures of the Christian life in 2 Corinthians 1:8. These God given pressures have a specific sovereign design for our ultimate good.
While all stress pushes us beyond our comfort zones, experiencing discomfort is not all bad. Consider the following benefits of stress in your life:
- Emotional benefits. Eustress whether in the form of a new project, ministry, or trial presents opportunity for increased confidence, emotional intelligence, inspiration, and motivation as we embrace the stress while trusting in God rather than ourselves.
- Psychological benefits. Positive stress reinforces mental toughness and resilience, while forcing us to rely on truth rather than fear.
- Spiritual benefits. Accepting instead of avoiding eustress increases our trust in God, while strengthening our faith as we are conformed to the image of Christ.
“But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”
why you need stress in your life
When confronted with adversity and life’s pressures, taking the time to notice how stress feels in your body can help determine which type of stress you face. Seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance will further help you eliminate negative stress while embracing positive stress.
Understanding the God-designed benefits of positive stress relieves your fears and allows beneficial growth as you become more Christ-like.
Reframing your perspective on stress opens unlimited possibilities for personal and spiritual growth as well as pathways to ministry and Kingdom building.
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