Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. In most cases, it is primarily a physical response. When we feel stressed, our body thinks it is under attack and then switches to fight or flight mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical action. This series of actions in the body causes a number of reactions, from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion.
We sometimes are stressed so that we can be prepared to become all that we can be. Stress is not all negative; however, our attitude toward stress determines what response we get. If we approach the stress with positive attitude, the outcome becomes positive, However, when we are negative about a situation, the outcome comes with a corresponding effect—negative.
Many people have stress from their job, family and relationships and consequently, many suffer from emotional, mental, financial and other kinds of stress. In order to properly manage stress, you need to identify the source of the stress. Understanding its nature and source helps to prepare you for the best approach. It is obvious that no one likes to be stressed, however, having a positive outlook even when stressed helps to prepare us for greater things. It helps to expand our physical and mental abilities and capabilities. Therefore, stress can bring about growth and expansion. Consequently, without embracing the stress with a positive attitude, you miss the growth and expansion that it brings about.
Joseph in the Bible was a man who had great dreams and great potential. Out of his good heart, he shared his dreams and visions with his brothers. However, because of jealousy, they hated him and sold him into slavery. I can imagine the great stress those moments could have been for Joseph. It was probably one of his worst days. Could you imagine how that feels? When you are betrayed by someone you trust, someone you shared your life secrets with, and they turn their back on you and use the things you shared with them against you. I tell you that it could be heartbreaking. It could be frustrating and disappointing, which results in stress. However, Joseph never gave up. In the midst of all those stressors, he kept his dreams and visions. He maintained who he was because he knew who he was. As a result of his positive mental attitude, he endured and at the end, he was elevated into becoming the prime minister of Egypt. Supposing that Joseph had been all frustrated and forcing, crying and complaining about his problems and disappointments, he probably wouldn’t have risen above those circumstances to become the prime minister of Egypt.
If his life stress brought him elevation and promotion, yours too can.