One of the effects of stress is muscle tension, and some people tend to hold their stress in certain parts of their bodies, such as shoulders, neck, or back.
As a busy professional, husband, and father, I feel the effects of stress in my own life. As a therapist, I often see the effects of stress in the lives of those I work with on a regular basis. For some people, these stress effects are so familiar, they seem normal. Some people can’t imagine their lives without lower back pain or headaches or bouts of hyperventilation or wearing a nighttime mouth guard for teeth grinding.
Sweets and caffeine-saturated drinks are just what they do to get through the day. Popping a few pills or having a few drinks has become an accepted way to cope and relax. They have learned to accommodate their stress symptoms, not realizing there are ways to overcome them.
Our bodies and our minds were created to handle a certain amount of strain or tension as a part of living this life. But what happens to a cord when you increase the tension? Even though the cord is designed with a certain amount of give, at some point that cord will break.
We were created with a stress response that was meant to help us recognize and escape danger. We were not created to stay stuck in that stress response. Getting stuck produces the danger of breaking down physically and/or psychologically.
God is our creator and protector. Does this mean we will never have times of stress? No, but God has promised to be with us through times of tension and stress. When stressed, we are meant to say, like Paul did, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).
The symptoms of stress can show up in unexpected ways. You probably can relate to the most common stress symptoms reported by other American adults, such as feeling angry or irritable, having anxiety, or simply not being motivated.
Does that sound like you? Angry yet apathetic; anxious yet depressed; keyed-up yet tired; overwhelmed and sad. Each of us has probably felt this way at times. To determine your current stress level, consider answering these questions. And the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, think about ways you can learn to let go.
If you or a loved one is suffering from stress, hopelessness or depression, know that there is help. For more information about depression treatment, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today. The Center • A Place of HOPE Depression Treatment Facility was recently ranked as the #1 treatment facility in the country for depression, and our team is standing by to help you and your loved ones.