I used to hate stress and anything closely related, until last year when I realized that stress wasn’t always a bad thing. As a matter of fact there is something called Eustress, which is positive/beneficial stress. And on the other hand, there is Distress which is negative/non-beneficial stress. The latter is what many of us are familiar with. The problem itself is not the stress, but how we handle it.
Every healthy individual requires a moderate dose of stress to function efficiently. And this cuts across physical, psychological and mental aspects. There’s a need to burn a few calories daily by putting the joints and muscles to work. This way the body’s metabolic processes are regulated. That’s one of the reasons why exercises are highly recommended. The mind, and the brain at large, also need some daily stimulation to think, analyse and solve issues, to prevent apathy.
I recall a friend who at one time was like he couldn’t have imagined me being in medical school, with the stress and all. And his concerns were genuine. Anyone can imagine how intricately stressful medical school is. Everyone who knew me as a child would agree that I was the delicate type. I generally avoided anything that would take me out of my comfort zone, no matter how appealing it looked. I imagine myself to be an egg, taking care to avoid the slightest scratch or crack on my shell. But here I am, I’m not only tougher, I’m also stronger.
Last year in particular was a moulding period for me. I learnt a lot of HARD things, the HARD way! From learning to live by delayed gratification, to coping under pressure both physically and emotionally, to holding on to God’s promises and exhibiting a new level of Courage when the occasion demanded.
Though it was stressful and not an easy experience, yet it was AMAZING. So much was learnt and accomplished. God was my personal TRAINER, he worked on shaping my thoughts, attitude and character, in alignment with his WILL. I began to refer to him as THE HARD-WAY TEACHER! And he still is.
Now that I know the importance of stress, I embrace it holistically. I’ve found channels to ease the tension whenever it seems overwhelming– Music, Writing & Exercise work well!
I know and I tell myself that, I can do ALL things (including the HARD ones) through Christ who gives me strength- Philippians 4:13, paraphrased.
I hope you too can take hold of this truth this YEAR. No matter how tiring/trying your experience is, be reminded that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!