Recently, I discovered that I have not been handling stress and tension well. Turns out, I hold my feelings in. Either that, or I dismiss them as having no value (i.e., I tell myself they’re just not important.). Adding to this revelation is that I guess I’ve always been this way, though I’m told that I have gradually improved over the years.
Sure, I knew I didn’t always share my feelings with others, but I didn’t realize how much I often simply ignored them. I should have seen the signs, though.
According to Healthline, common physical manifestations of repressed feelings and the resulting tension include:
√ Muscle tension and pain
√ Nausea and digestive problems
√ Appetite changes
√ Fatigue and sleep problems
You see the checkmarks, right? Yep. All of them. Just the tip of the iceberg too, my friends. (Most recently, I’ve added hand swelling and sharp pain.)
My purpose to this point was to simply provide some context for the journey we’re about to go on. How long? Not sure. Where are we going? Don’t know that either. I do know that learning to relieve the tension I constantly feel is the path God has recently led me to.
“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
I’ve been praying this verse frequently for months now, so this journey before me really shouldn’t be a surprise.
Ready for a Journey?
So, I’ve planned my way (i.e., decided to finally deal with the tension) and to finally allow the Lord to direct my steps in this area. This is a journey I’ve been on in some way for the past 25 years, and I think I realized it at times. Now, however, midlife has suddenly reared its ugly head (though, you should know it’s not always ugly), and I find myself at a crossroads of aging gracefully or, well, not.
Whether you’re anywhere near middle age or not, I believe you can benefit from taking this journey with me. In fact, the younger you are when you decide to deal with what causes your tension, the more joy and peace you’ll get to experience. If you’re past the midline of life, then I’m certain you’ll want to come along in order to make the most of the golden years before you.