Why are we experiencing so much stress in our lives? Was there ever a time when stress was none existent? While searching through the library at a local university I came across a book by Robert Kugelmann entitled, Stress: The Nature and History of Engineered Grief. I found this book very interesting.
In chapter 3, The Martial Beginning of Stress, Kugelmann presents a very interesting notion that humans did not really talk about stress very much until after the Second World War. He says,
During the dark days surrounding the Second World War, the notion of stress emerged from the background of collective perception and discourse. The ground was ready to produce such a growth.
There is no doubt that the Second World War introduced a new level of stress to be dealt with. The threat to countries, the brutality of war, the loss of loved ones were just a few of the stresses created during this time. However, this emotion had become an issue that humans across the planet were having to deal with.
The atrocities of the World War II invaded the psyche of every adult in the world. It created a new way of thinking. Kugelmann refers to this as “engineered grief.” It is his belief that this type of thinking did not exist before the War. If this is the case and stress is here to stay, then how do we manage it in our lives?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Physical exercise and managing your body are essential in battling stress.
- Self-development is important. The career and job are important however; if they dominate your life and drown out your visions and dreams it will destroy self-development.
- Inner-Control of your life. It is very easy to allow outside forces, companies, organizations and other people to dominant your life. Do not let this take place!
- Quite Time. Are there moments in your day that are not consumed by the environment or other people?
- An Empty Place. Do you have a place that is not consumed by outside forces? It is hard to have “Quite Time” without an “Empty Place.”
Stress has become a reality for us in our culture. The movies we watch, the music we listen to and every job we perform are catalysts for this emotion. Although some may think that stress had just shown up in the past century, there is no doubt that it has been around for some time. As far back as the first century when Christ was walking the earth with his disciples it was recorded in the New Testament that his disciples were dealing with stress.
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
The advice of Jesus in dealing with stress is great advice for anyone:
- Get away for awhile
- Spend some time with Christ
- Experience some silence
- Get some rest