How can we battle the adversary of stress?

I was on, viewing a teaching on how to deal with stress by Pastor Guillermo Maldonado. As he shared the message, many thoughts crept into my head as to why young people tend to deal with problems in our minds, heart, and spirit.

Have you ever sat down in a chair and overwhelmed yourself with thoughts? Maybe you have a full-time job and you’re trying to supply for your family. Perhaps the revenue doesn’t match the amount of bills that must be paid by the end of the month. Maybe you are loaded with assignments due at the end of the week. Probably, you’re loaded with a dozen activities that prevent you from studying for major tests and exams. All of these responsibilities that we have as young people, if not managed wisely, can hinder our credibility and damage our effectiveness.

One thing we must know, however, is that stress will always come. There will always be responsibilities regardless of the directions that we decide to take in life. If we don’t manage anxiety, it can lead to discouragement and depression. There is no way to remove it; we can only manage stress. Out of my experiences, there are a lot of reasons why stress tends to occur. Here are some of the following reasons:

#1. A major adversary appears in front of us.
Every time I come upon a major situation, deadline, or assignment that seems almost impossible for me, I feel burdened. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time to get certain assignments done, or maybe I feel like I should skip some assignments to make more time for the ones that are more important. Every time an impossibility appears in front of us, our first instinct as teenagers and young adults is to run away. We flee because we feel inferior and feeble to the world. However, we were born with a purpose, and we must face every giant that steps into our way!

#2. Crisis in the home hurts our morale.
Have you ever entered home and experienced bad news? Maybe your parents decide to yell at you. Your brother or sister gets upset, and the tension begins to boil. Crisis in the house is big “mood changer.” It can alter our attitude once we step outside of the door. I’ve noticed that if I am not happy in my house, my attitude will reveal itself when I face the outside world. It is important for us to restore our relationships in the house, first, to be able to manage stress.

#3. Negative influences births stress into us.
When was the last time we trusted a friend or a family member with a secret, and they’ve given us their point of view? Maybe they give us negativity, or are pessimistic toward our decisions. These people we must avoid at all costs, because they will ruin our self-esteem and change us into also thinking negatively.

#4. We don’t know our place in this world, yet.
Why do we attend all of these activities that will not influence our career in any manner? Why are we trying to seek acceptance by joining clubs, or meeting new friends? Back when I was in high school, the reason why I joined so many activities was to build new relationships and find people that I can trust. While it is not a bad idea to do so, stress can come if we don’t know our purpose or passion in life. We will desire to overwhelm ourselves with major activities that have nothing to do with our career. When we make a decision and eliminate every task that has no value, we will see how much time we really have on our plate.

Jesus couldn’t have set it better in the Bible. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” in Matthew 11:28.

How are we able to deal with stress?

#1. We have to set a time to organize our schedule.
Adults think that we are crazy when we tell them we are busy. They tell us, “how is it possible that you are busy?” Yes, we are busy people. My advice is to get an agenda, and plan the rest of the week. If a friend calls and wants to hang-out, don’t do it; stick to your schedule. If you are going to hang-out with someone, plan ahead a couple of weeks.

#2. Eliminate social media and technology usage.
Teenagers have the biggest rate of usage of technology. For a News Literacy class, I had a “News Blackout Assignment” in which I had to avoid any social media or news outlets for two days. When I logged off from my sites, I was awed by how much extra time I had for other activities! Nowadays, social media takes the majority of our day. If we manage that usage, we can become more effective in other areas!

#3. Living a life of purpose.
We are human beings that were created for a purpose! We must know our purpose and the reason why we were created. Once we know that, we will stop wasting time. Sometimes when I go to parks, I see young people that are playing basketball or soccer or football. Is it bad to play every once in a while? Of course, not! However, when it becomes a routine and almost a daily thing, it can become dangerous because it is a religious task. It is a state of conformism that doesn’t allow us to see above and beyond greater things in life.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” In other words, we are growing up not just in number, but in character! Therefore, our words must change. Our attitude must change. Our way of thinking must change! Every adversary is meant to take us to a greater level of maturity. Are we going to allow it to make us more mature? Or will we decide to flee from responsibilities?

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