Isaiah 63:9 - In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Stress is an everyday occurrence in our lives. It can be a “good” kind of stress like getting a new job or having company over for dinner. However it can also be a “bad” kind of stress like losing a job, not being able to pay your bills, or having a flare-up of chronic pain.
But there is also a third kind of stress, and it’s called “secondhand stress”.
Have you ever been at the airport waiting for your flight and a guy at the end of your row of seats is on his phone and obviously stressed out. You can tell by his voice and body language.
So, can you catch another person’s stress like you can catch the flu?
The answer is yes. According to ABC news.com in their article, “Can Secondhand Stress be Contagious?” Read about the "secondhand stress" study that was done to determine whether stress could be as contagious. After the end of the study, researchers said that stress can be passed on through things like facial expressions, the sound of their voice, odor and touch.
It’s hard enough to avoid getting stressed when you’re in difficult circumstances, but you can also get stressed just by being around someone who is stressed or by watching something stressful on TV.
Distress is another concern. This is when you’ve experienced stress on a daily, lengthy time period. This kind of stress has negative effects on the body. Examples are: stomach aches, muscle tension, headaches, raised blood pressure and mental effects such as anxiety and depression.
In the Bible verse above we see that even God was distressed as the Israelites were distressed. He feels what we feel. You’re not alone in your distress. God’s love and mercy can lift us up and place us back onto green pastures of the heart and mind.
To learn more about stress and how to recognize and avoid it select the “learn more” link below.
If you have suggestions on how to deal with stress, I’d love to hear from you. Just select the blue “comments” below.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.