Defining True Stress

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A recent study of 2,000 millennials, commissioned by Endoca, showed an interesting list of what caused stress in their lives: 

1. Losing wallet/credit card
2. Arguing with partner
3. Commuting/traffic delays
4. Losing phone
5. Arriving late to work
6. Slow WiFi
7. Phone battery dying
8. Forgetting passwords
9. Credit card fraud
10. Forgetting phone charger
11. Losing/misplacing keys
12. Paying bills
13. Job interviews
14. Phone screen breaking
15. Credit card bills
16. Check engine light coming on
17. School loan payments
18. Job security
19. Choosing what to wear
20. Washing dishes


Part of the reason I believe these things comprise their list is that many of millennials have limited experience with situations that create heightened stress. 

I probably date myself with this example from World War II. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the military was concerned with a follow-up invasion.  Civilians of all types volunteered with shotguns and any weapon available to be deployed to the beaches to fend off a possible attack. After the massive bombing raid, this is true stress. Experiencing a severe car accident that causes life-changing injuries or developing a serious disease is also stressful. 

When I work with clients and we tackle major issues, I frequently ask the question: “What is the worst thing that could happen in this circumstance?” Often the answer may be something frustrating or painful, but not catastrophic. It helps put the circumstance in the correct perspective for my client.

Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25, NIV) We all worry about what we need to focus on or about focusing on the correct problems. However, should washing dishes, choosing the right clothing or forgetting our phone charger really make our top list of concerns?

Examine your stress list.  On a scale of 1-5, how serious are these stresses?  Take Jesus’ counsel seriously.  If worrying and stressing won’t solve the problem, why are you wasting your time energy on it?

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