Stress Can Cause Physical Issues
Not Allowing Life’s Stress to Derail Your Health
by Joanne Troppello
“Stress is not about events and experiences nearly so much as it is about a person’s perception of the circumstances that occur in his or her life. A person’s stress level has to do with what a person believes. – Don Colbert, M.D.
I wrote another article two weeks ago about perceptions and how when perception doesn’t meet reality, that can cause stress. I have been rereading the book, Deadly Emotions by Dr. Don Colbert.
This article is a companion article to that one. As Dr. Colbert shared in that introductory quote, the way you perceive things that happen to you – and the way that you respond (rather than react) to them – can alleviate or elevate your stress levels.
Long-term stress can cause physical issues like heart and vascular problems, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, skin conditions, chronic infections, pain and inflammation, lung and breathing problems, and immune impairment (credit: Deadly Emotions, Don Colbert, M.D.).
It’s vital that you do not allow chronic stress to derail your health. You need to find a way to alleviate stress in your life, not to elevate it. You must find a way to respond maturely to the stressful situations you find yourself in, rather than react immaturely.
Believe me, I have grown so much in this area through the years. I was immature, angry, and always reacted rather than responded when my life was out of control. I needed to grow and develop as an individual – while developing my relationship with the Lord.
Stress Management is Linked to Maturity
I truly believe that stress management is linked to maturity as a person (mind and soul) and as a Christian (spiritually). I have seen the Lord work in my life throughout my 33 years as a Christian. I can blame some of my issues of anger management (in my teens and twenties) on my dysfunctional family background.
However, that would make me a victim. I’m not a victim. I am a victor in Christ. For a long time, I was stuck in that anger, especially when life got out of control because I considered myself a victim.
When I was engaged at 29, God did a huge transformative work in my life. I started to delve even deeper into God’s Word and study it. I read a book that my friend gave me on having proper boundaries, which helped me learn how to manage difficult relationships in my family. After we got married, we went to a seminar Gary Smalley did at our church regarding relationships and his new book (DNA). I learned about the different love languages and how understanding people’s love languages and different personalities can truly help you to deal with others more maturely. I read as many books as I could by Gary Smalley like The DNA of Relationship, Love is a Decision, and Making Love Last Forever.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. – Ephesians 4:11-17 (NKJV)
Growing as an individual and as a Christian has helped me to manage my expectations more maturely. I’ve learned how to love others unconditionally, while saying no when I need to, and build healthy relationships with necessary boundaries.
God has a reason for all the circumstances that I’ve gone through. I’ve chosen to allow the Holy Spirit to help me to become a better person, not a bitter one. God is good all the time. His peace truly does pass all understanding.
I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” – Zechariah 13:9 (NKJV)
He has put me through the refining fire, and I know more times of testing and discipline are ahead before I get to Heaven. However, now, I welcome those times rather than try to deflect them. God disciplines His children whom He loves.
How do you manage stress in your life?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.