Pressure. Pressure is something that we often place upon ourselves. It is also something that we allow others to place on us as well. In either case, regardless of how well we may respond in these situations, too much pressure is never good. Why? Because we were not designed to take on the stress from high-pressured situations over an extended period of time. This is why there are so many people who experience many physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual breakdowns. So how do we combat the effects of life’s pressure moments?
One way to combat the effects of life’s pressure moments is to understand what can be defined as pressure. Pressure, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the burden of physical or mental distress; the stress or urgency of matters demanding attention.” Combined in both definitions, there are two key words worth focusing on: distress and stress. Why are we focusing upon these two words? They provide insight into why we need to protect ourselves against the events and people which can be potential threats to our well-being.
What is stress? Stress is defined by The American Institute of Stress (AIS) as,
“…physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension…”
“…a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize…”
In addition, AIS has conducted extensive research on the causes and effects of stress. AIS also found that an enormous amount of the American population (77%) who experience high stress levels on a regular basis, and forty-eight per cent reported having an increase within the past five years. Seventy-six per cent of those people cite work and money as the leading causes of their stress. With unrealistic expectations being placed on them, their relationships within the home and at work are affected and suffer tremendously.
What is distress? Distress is defined as,
“…great pain, anxiety or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble…”
The Gulf Bend Center in Texas provides further clarification by identifying distress as “negative stress” and outlines some of its characteristics. As a result, we can observe that there are various factors involved in causing distress. Some of the more common factors are: 1) environmental, 2) family issues, 3) events, 4) health, and 5) interpersonal. Drs. Harry Mills, Natalie Reiss, and Mark Dombeck of the Gulf Bend Center also mention that, “
“Chronic and persistent negative stress (distress) can lead to many adverse health problems, including physical illness, and mental, emotional and social problems…”
In other words, distress breaks down the body’s immune system, exacerbates mood disorders, and often leads to a decrease in the assertiveness skills needed to seek out social support from others.
If life’s pressure moments are the cause of many negative situations, why do we continue to allow room for it in our lives? Is it because it is so commonplace that we tend to normalize it? When we view this subject from a Biblical perspective, we begin to understand that this is not what God intended for His creation.
Peace is God’s remedy for life’s pressure moments. How can we arrive at this answer? Well, there are at least 429 verses in the Bible that address the subject of peace. The Holy Scriptures mentions the subject of peace in connection to relationships and health and all from a spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, and social stance. This leads one to believe that the Author and Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures has something to say about our overall well-being.
We know that approaching wellness from an isolated perspective instead of holistically leaves the individual wanting. In addition, the person becomes more susceptible to recurrence of the situation and increased attacks from the enemy. The enemy does not want to see any of God’s children finding wholeness from God’s hand. It is his desire to see them remain in an oppressed state, which causes them to remain ineffective in Kingdom advancement.
This is a battle for our overall well-being. Our Heavenly Father has provided us with the tools to combat and overcome the plans of the enemy. God’s peace can heal our troubled minds if we choose to seek Him. Ask Him in faith and He will give it to us liberally…this is His plan for our lives.