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Thursday, May 23, 2013
We All Have ItPosted Thursday, December 3, 2009, at 8:56 AM
Stress is one of those things you need in order to live because it keeps all the independent parts of us working together as a team.
Stress is one of those things you don't need in abundance because it starts robbing your life energy from helping you accomplish the goals of "the team."
Too much stress threatens your enjoyment of life.
We all have it. We all need it. We have to keep it from overwhelming us. And the month of December can be one of the most stress-filled of our lives.
I have a check list that tells me when the stress is overwhelming me. If I monitor myself and evaluate myself with this check list, I'll be able to gauge when I need to cut back on stressful situations and even when I need to declare a break from the world and get away from the stress producers at war with my greater self.
* Opening my mail each day;
* Eating out with friends less than ten times a week.
I will self-evaluate as healthy if I score ten or more out of these fifteen. I will self-evaluate as under too much stress if I score between a five and nine.
I will take a break from the world and get away if I score below a four.
I need to confess that in recent months I've been scoring around a constant seven. In fact, that dropped down to three points for two weeks after which I declared a break from the world and got away. I now find myself scoring back above ten during these last seven days and so I declare victory (at least temporarily!) from the stress that tried to take away my very soul.
It's mine; the stresses of my life can't have it!
I've shown you mine. What does your stress check list look like? I invite you to develop your own. You can even borrow some of the categories I use and then add on the particular markers that make sense to you.
The point is this: You've got to monitor your stress. There will be times when it may seem overpowering to you. With the right tools you'll be able to monitor and self-evaluate and then know when to do something to reclaim your autonomy.
You can't let the stresses win, especially during the month of December.
Take charge now.
P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.