Stress and Mental Health
Stress can cause one to suffer physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Stress initiates responses in our body that signals us that something needs attention. How we respond to stress makes a significant difference in our well-being. We all know what stress is, but do we know how to recognize the symptoms before they cause harm. Stress untreated can cause disease. Eliminate stress and all is well. Well, it is not that simple. But there are things we can do to improve our reaction and positively affect our health.
When Is Enough – Enough?
I am not enough and never will be. Without God, I will always fall short of what he plans for me. The milestones that I have overcome, especially to reach graduation day, did not bring me satisfaction. The accomplishment of a goal did not provide the inner satisfaction and nor peace that I had hoped. The void remained. I had not arrived! I looked for each degree to fill something that only Jesus could fill. No amount of striving or effort can compare to the satisfaction that God gives.
Who am I accountable to? How do I know when I have done enough? If I have truly lived out the will of God for my life, I must be satisfied. I recognize increasingly with age that I will always fall short of something. My perfectionism limits me humanly. I am learning that I am only accountable to God. My life is service and obedience to Him.
The stress of not being enough causes other problems. Such as negative thinking that spirals out of control. The devil is continually seeking whom he may devour. Therefore, be sober, be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). The remedy to my stress is seeing through the eyes of my Savior who loves unconditionally. Jesus, I thank you, because Jesus you are enough for me.
Jesus is my accountability. He is all I need. Even though I am a work in progress, I am satisfied that Jesus is there guiding, pruning, and keeping me from the harm of stress. “For greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Striving and Stress
God is enough! He is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). He walks with me daily on my spiritual journey through life. He sustains my faith, encourages me with goals and visions for my future. He helps me complete task and gives me relief from the stress of striving. The flesh is never satisfied. We will never be able to do enough to please the flesh, but the spirit brings life and peace.
My favorite scripture regarding striving, frustration, worry, and stress is Matthew 11:28-30, from The Message:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you will learn to live freely and lightly.”
There is nothing better than being in step with the Holy Spirit. I call it a dance of keeping up the pace by accepting His grace. Please enjoy the following testimony and song.