Your Stress Tolerance
free-lancing for business magazines, I was assigned
to write a story about a steel production company
that supplied pipe to the energy industry. I
was intrigued by the rigorous stress tests run
on each piece of pipe. One procedure involved
a "hydro test" - water was pumped
inside the pipe until a pre-determined pressure
was reached. The pressure was maintained for
a set duration of time; weaknesses or flaws
in the pipe caused leaking or bursts of water.
If there were no leaks or bursts, the pipe was
approved for delivery to a client.
may be thinking, "What does steel pipe
have to do with me?" More than you might
realize. It's not just steel pipe that needs
to be strong enough to tolerate reasonable levels
of stress. Cultivating inner stress tolerance
may be your most effective stress management
causes stress? Most people blame the symptoms of stress
- which may include anxiety, insomnia, depression, fatigue,
on-going health problems, irritability and anger - entirely
upon stressful circumstances.
comprise only one part of the stress equation, however.
The other critical factor is what I call, "internal
leaking or bursts of water occur during stress tests on
steel pipe, two conditions must be present: intense water
pressure, and inherent flaws or weaknesses in the pipe.
The flaws are exposed under pressure.
the symptoms of stress often reflect a combination of stressful
circumstances and internal problems. Most people focus exclusively
on the first part of the stress equation - their circumstances.
But internal issues must also be resolved to successfully
conquer the symptoms of stress.
evaluate the first part of the equation - stressful circumstances.
Are you driven to excessive busyness? If so, why? Do you
feel the need to be all things to all people? Is your self-worth
wrapped up in having others admire you for your performance?
Have you created a busy, crisis-oriented lifestyle in order
to avoid facing your problems?
answer to any of these questions is "yes", it's
time to take ownership for your hectic lifestyle and make
changes. Superwoman is a myth; anyone who aspires to this
title will eventually pay the price with a physical or emotional
probably don't want to hear this, but suffering from anxiety,
sickness, fatigue or any other stress symptom could be one
of the best things that ever happened to you. After all,
there's only one way to find out what's inside a sponge
- you must squeeze it. Similarly, pressures and trials expose
emotional and spiritual problems; we can no longer bury
them and pretend they don't exist. That frees us to start
making constructive changes.
are suffering from the symptoms of stress, make the most
of this time to learn more about yourself and the "why"
behind your choices.
Internal Stress Tolerance
that you have evaluated your lifestyle choices, it's time
to work on the second part of the stress equation: internal
peace, strength and joy have nothing to do with circumstances.
They can never be found through money, possessions, success
or even the best of relationships. Rather, they emanate
from the lives of those who have mastered the art of trusting
God. The Bible provides a timeless proven remedy for anxiety:
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will
rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord,
He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust"
who desire God's presence above all else find refuge from
the storms of life. A refuge is not an escape; it is an
inner state of peace and confidence that transcends our
circumstances, providing peace and protection in the midst
of the most violent storms.
terms, trusting God means that we daily take our concerns,
fears and needs to Him. Each day, we take time to seek His
wisdom, refreshing and grace.
think of many times when my circumstances seemed impossible,
or my heart was crushed, or discouragement threatened to
overwhelm me. But as I spent time in God's presence, I experienced
the power of the biblical promise, "The peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus"
promises never fail. If we will let go of our desire to
control and instead entrust our dreams, fears and hopes
to our faithful heavenly Father, we will find peace. We
will receive supernatural wisdom for dealing with every
problem we face. Empowered by His strength, we will not
be crushed by tragedy or failure, nor will we become sick
or emotionally distressed every time we face a setback or
peace has nothing to do with the absence of stress, tragedy
and pain; it has everything to do with Whom we trust, as
illustrated in the following story.
contest was advertised. The theme of the contest was "Peace",
and a prize would be awarded to the artist who most effectively
day for the entries to be judged arrived, and the various
paintings were displayed in a gallery. Typical scenes portrayed
by the artists included ducks floating serenely on a quiet
pond; palm trees blowing gently in the ocean breeze; moonlight
reflecting off a tranquil mountain lake.
painting stood out in stark contrast to the others. At first
glance, it seemed anything but peaceful. A violent storm
raged over the dark and dreary scene. Trees were bent by
a blustering wind. Giant waves threatened to flood a riverbank.
midst of the chaos was an oak tree. Cradled under its branches
was a nest; there, protected under the body of their mother,
three baby robins slept peacefully, oblivious to the storm
that raged around them. It was this painting that won the
also can know the security that enabled these baby robins
to rest peacefully in the midst of a violent storm. Make
God your refuge - and He will empower you to walk through
any storm and remain strong, peaceful and secure. He won't
always change your situation, but He will change how you
respond to it.
Rushfeldt is an author, speaker, and online
magazine publisher who has been writing for
25 years. Her passion is to inspire and equip
women to reach their dreams. Her latest book,
Making Your Dreams Your Destiny - a woman's
guide to awakening your passions and fulfilling
your purpose, is now available in quality bookstores.
You may also order online with your credit card
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