The woes of life can sometimes get pretty overwhelming and the onset of COVID-19 has compounded feelings of stress and anxiety among many.
Stress is experienced in almost every facet of life and can be described as a feeling of emotional or physical tension. This is normally caused by an event or thought that contributes to frustration, anger, or nervousness.
Generally, Christians such as Father George Rutler deal with stress in accordance with 1 Peter 5:7, which encourages people to, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for us.”
This notion is established on the basis that by allowing God to handle challenging situations that cause stress, favour will be granted.
Stress is often ignored and its impact oversimplified, especially since its symptoms are not very easily identified. So, what are some of the distinct impacts of stress? Below are a few symptoms of stress:
2. Consistent aches and pains
5. Weight loss or gain
While the above-mentioned symptoms of stress are not exhaustive, it is clear that stress can pose health risks.
HEALTH RISKS OF STRESS
Believe it or not, stress can positively impact one’s life. This is due to the fact that stress serves as the body’s natural reaction to challenging situations, which can be helpful when trying to avoid danger or even meet a specific deadline.
However, when stress lasts for an extended period, it may contribute to health risks. While it can cause the body to stay alert, over time, this may cause severe health issues such as:
1. High blood pressure
5. Heart disease
With the possible health risks that stress poses, it is important to identify ways to properly cope. It is natural to experience feelings of stress and anxiety after traumatic events, but managing stress is of paramount importance.
Here are three simple steps to help in the reduction of stress:
1. Take breaks
One of the hardest things to do, especially when tasks are at an all time high, is to take a break. However, it is important that the physical body is taken care of in order to reduce feelings of stress.
By taking breaks and unwinding, tensions can be relieved and more time can be dedicated to activities that bring enjoyment and promote relaxation.
2. Connect with loved ones
It is no secret that the different protocols being implemented to control the spread of COVID-19 has significantly affected socialising. However, alternative measures can be utilised, such as meeting online, in order to communicate with loved ones.
Simply talking to loved ones and sharing problems and negative emotions can be extremely healing. Communicating with loved ones helps to strengthen social ties and provides a greater sense of purpose.
3. Ask for help
There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Life undoubtedly gets tedious at times, and balancing everything may prove difficult. When faced with stress, people often withdraw or shut down as feelings of embarrassment towards the source of stress may increase.
However, stress is normal and affects everyone at some point in life. As such, reaching out for help is important and confessing weakness does not indicate inadequacy.
Furthermore, professional help is always available if loved ones are unable to provide the emotional strength that is required. For Christians such as Father George Rutler, prayer is exercised in order to attain comfort in a Supreme Being and to gain peace of mind when stress levels increase. While this is helpful and forms a fundamental aspect of Christianity, it is also critical that additional steps be taken to further cope with stress.