Friends of mine, until they moved, lived on Easy Street – honest to goodness! I had thought that such a place was just wishful thinking but there they were – literally living on Easy Street.
On the outside looking in, it may appear that all of our friends and co-workers are living the dream on Easy Street. Sometimes it appears that way because of the stress in our own lives. Relationships get rough, finances falter, health hurts, or work wearies. From time to time stress happens to everyone.
Not all stress is bad for us. Some stress helps us get through our tough assignments or circumstances. However, left unchecked, stress can rob us of our joy and health. According to stress.org, stress is the #1 health problem in America today. Left unchecked, stress can quickly lead to irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches and insomnia. If you’re being honest with yourself, are you experiencing any of those?
My favorite Prophet, Elijah, did. When the Lord found him on the run, afraid, worn out, and tired. Elijah said: “I have had enough, Lord…” (1 Kings 19:4, NIV). My favorite Sailor, Popeye, did. His stress tolerance was tapped out as he exclaimed: “That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more.” I can relate to Elijah and Popeye too! I recently snapped at my loving, totally innocent, wife because I was irritable – the result of a stress filled day. Yes, stress happens, and it happens to all of us. Moreover, research shows that professions such as healthcare and social work have inherently higher levels of stress.
The good news is, help and relief is available right now! Some immediate simple steps to try include: stop whatever you’re doing and take a short walk outside – soak up some of the beauty and majesty of Gods’ creation; take some slow, deep breaths; set your cell phone aside for a while; reduce your caffeine intake; do that “something” that makes you smile – even if just for a few minutes!
Do something positive to give yourself a mental and physical break. Be a “Nike” person and “just do it!” Taking some simple steps to take control of stress may not land you on Easy Street, but they’ll put you on the path to it.
www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety; (January 2022).