Yes, it's true that we're built to withstand a certain amount of stress, and it can help us to become better problem solvers. But we shouldn't be so stressed that we can't handle our day-to-day life.
There's only so much we can take.
For example, a chair is designed to bear a certain amount of weight. And if it's used properly, it should last a very long time. But if it consistently bears more weight than it was designed to hold, it will wear out prematurely and eventually break.
You and I were also designed to bear a certain amount of physical, mental and emotional strain. When we take on more than we can handle, we eventually break down.
The Way to Set Limits
A word we don't hear much about today is prudence. It means "careful management: economy."
In the Bible, prudence or prudent means "being good stewards or managers of the gifts God has given us to use." Those gifts include time, energy, strength and health—even material possessions. They include our bodies, as well as our minds and spirits.
Just as each one of us has been given a different set of gifts, each of us has been given different levels of ability to manage those gifts.
We need to know our limits, and prevent ourselves from reaching "full capacity" or "overload."
Instead of pushing ourselves too hard to please others or reach our own personal goals, we need to listen to God and do what He's telling us is wise.
We need to learn to put God's wisdom into practice so we can enjoy our lives.
Your First Step to Beating Stress
Did you know that anything can cause stress? Stressors can be big or little things. In addition, what causes you stress may not bother someone else. And what bothers you today may not bother you tomorrow.
For example, going to the grocery store may be a stressor for you, especially if money is tight. The checker in your lane runs out of change and has to shut down temporarily. You switch to a new lane and learn five of your items don't have a price on them. The checker has to call for a price check and the line behind you grows.
Small, seemingly innocent circumstances have a way of piling up until you finally explode from the pressure.
Nobody can remove all the big and little things that cause stress in our lives. So we must learn to identify our stressors, study how they affect us, and learn how to respond correctly.
Fine-Tuning Your Approach
The world responds to difficulties by becoming upset and stressed, but our attitude and approach should be entirely different.
When we approach a circumstance already stressed out, we're setting ourselves up for misery before we begin.
The right approach can completely turn a situation around.
Instead of stressing out and tensing up, calm down, take a deep breath and try to get some perspective on the situation. Refuse to allow your circumstances to dictate how you're going to feel.
You may not be able to control the situation, but you can control how you respond to it. Take a proactive approach and decide beforehand what your attitude will be.
A right attitude opens the door for God to supernaturally help you.