ACCORDING TO DATA from the American Psychological Association (APA) from October 2018, one third of the American population lives in a state of stress, and 48 percent say that their stress has increased in the past years. This increase is due basically to concern for personal safety because of violence; to the direction the country is taking due to certain political instabilities; to the fear generated by television and newspaper news; and to concern about money (personal finances), employment (labor stability), and health. The APA believes that on a scale of 0 to 10, the level of stress of North Americans is 4.9 among adults and 5.7 among millennial’s. It says that 74 percent of adults surveyed said they had experienced at least one symptom of stress in the last month and 45 percent say they wake up at night because of stress.
Psychologist Russ Newman, former practice director of the APA, says that stress is affecting personal relations, eating and sleep habits, work performance, and health. As you can see, it is not an inconsequential matter. Most of us are immersed every day in a headlong rush that prevents us from enjoying experiences that are indispensable for mental and physical equilibrium: reading the Bible alone and not in a hurry, contemplating a sunset while meditating on our Creator, enjoying an afternoon chatting with our children on topics that interest them, or simply sitting without thinking and without having anything else to do.
Of course, the concerns of life call to us and it is difficult to know how to deal with them without getting stressed, but we have to give rest its rightful importance. Jesus, our example in everything and our Teacher in the art of living, stated it very clearly through His experience with His disciples. Even God’s work can generate high levels of stress and even for them, the command was valid: «Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while» (Mark 6:31). Do not forget to do that in order to avoid suffering the consequences. Be a Christian in this, too.
«And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat» (Mark 6:31).