E-News - Stress Avoidance

Stress Avoidance

There have been multiple articles written about stress, and countless methods have been tried and tested to help us manage it. Stress is a complex and potentially dangerous phenomenon. We all have it, yet we all attempt to deal with it differently.

Some choose negative paths in their search for stress management, turning to alcohol or drugs to help them relax. Some result to a shopping addiction, seeking happiness even as they overspend and overextend themselves. Some overeat when their emotions are taxed, and others simply throw their life entirely out of balance.

None of these methods actually eliminate stress; rather, they are just temporary Band-Aids to take the edge off. In the end, the underlying causes are not remedied, and the Band-Aids themselves can only cause more stress.

Many of the business owners and managers I work with are overwhelmed with stress, but most also readily admit that they heap much of it upon themselves. How? By failing to prepare with plans and strategies, by distrusting others, biting off more than they can chew, and losing control of their lives.

In Philippians 4:4-9, Paul offers advice not on stress management, but rather on stress avoidance. Stress avoidance is not the same thing as pressure or problem avoidance, because in this life, that is simply not achievable.

We are bound to run into bumps in the road, no matter what roads we’re taking in life. In his lifetime, Paul achieved more than most people can even dream of accomplishing, and he did so under constant harassment and powerful opposition. He was lied about, was unjustly imprisoned (he wrote these verses from a crude cell), and was ridiculed, hated, and eventually executed for his work.

Paul understood pressure, but he was also aware that much could be achieved in the face of it. Thus, I can think of no one better qualified to teach leaders like you and me who sometimes feel crippled or even physically defeated by the stresses of today.

Avoid Stress
In these wise verses, the Apostle Paul offers four methods
to help us avoid stress:
  1. Define Your Perspective. Why are you in business?
  2. Be Gentle. Gentlessness has nothing to do with weakness. In fact, it takes a very strong person to be gentle with others, and it will reap you great benefits.
  3. Trust God. Sounds easy enough, but are we just saying the words or really trusting Him to get us through our difficulties?
  4. Live Ethically. If I tell the truth, I never have to worry about what I said. A great deal of stress can result from the consequences of unethical behavior.
Stress will inevitably creep into our lives, and sometimes it floods in all at once, but we must remember that it is an effect rather than a cause. Stress is really nothing more than a reaction to danger or a potential threat, either real or imagined. If we realize stress for what it is and don’t empower it to be anything more, we have a much better chance of managing it.

Carry On!

Greg McAfee
Greg McAfee
HVAC Business Consultant