I am presenting a positive image of the church, but in addition to helping us reduce the stress in our lives, membership in the church causes stress. On the local and regional level, the LDS church has a non-paid ministry. The pastor of a LDS congregation is a Bishop, and the Bishop serves with his two counselors to provide leadership and guidance to the congregation. These three men serve without pay on a part-time basis. In addition to his leadership role in the congregation, the Bishop, even though he probably has not had professional training as a counselor, counsels with members of the congregation about their personal problems. I've never been a Bishop, but I have been counselors to Bishops, and the three men (known as the Bishopric) do experience an awfully lot of stress. Because the Bishopric serve on a part-time basis without pay, other men and women are called to perform various duties in their congregations or wards (or on a regional level in their stakes). Some of these people are leaders of various subdivisions of their wards or stakes. Others teach classes, help the youth and adults with their activities, and do cleaning and maintenance of church buildings. All members are expected to give prayers in the meetings in their wards and stakes and to give talks in the worship services of their wards and stakes. Thus, we can see that LDS are busy with their church callings.
Activity within the church is stressful, and this stress is different for each person. Some people enjoy being with others, and these close associations are strengthening to them. Others, though, do not enjoy being in groups of people, and close relationships are difficult, even terrifying, for them. In my case, I enjoy teaching adult classes and speaking in worship meetings. I enjoy camping and hiking with scouts (scout activity is one of the programs of the church). These activities are relatively easy for me, and I do them with a minimum of stress. I enjoy one-on-one social relationships, but I do not like to be with groups of people, and I find that social groups give me a lot of stress. I recognize that church activities are good for me, because they help me become a more well-rounded person, but there is still a lot of stress due to my membership in the church.
I'm retired now, but my 40+ years working as an engineer were stressful for me, even though I really enjoyed my work. That enjoyment, though, brought stress into my marriage and family life due to my wanting to be absorbed in my work. In fact, life in general is stressful. The story of Adam and Eve teaches us that mortal life is one of stress.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
The scriptures teach that opposites are necessary. We must have both good and evil if we are to exercise our agency to choose between them and thus grow as persons. The prophet Lehi taught this to his son Jacob.
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. (2 Nephi 2:11)The stress of mortal life is opposite to the joy that Jesus Christ brings through his atonement.
The scriptures also teach that we should not judge others but should leave judgment to God. Being judgmental can cause one to have greater stress, including stress from anger.
The LDS church (and all good people including some churches) helps us overcome stress. In addition, scientists are studying the causes and reactions of people to stress. This post contains links to some of their research.
Regular exercise is touted as an antidote for many ills, including stress, depression and obesity. Physical activity also may help decrease violent behavior among adolescent girls, according to new research to be presented Monday, May 6, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC.
A survey of current and former college athletes finds depression levels significantly higher in current athletes, a result that upended the researchers' hypothesis. The finding published in Sports Health suggests the need for more research to understand depression among college athletes.
Why does chronic stress lead to increased risk for dementia? The answer may lie in the elevation of stress steroids that is seen in the brain during stress, Sara K. Bengtsson suggests in the thesis she is defending at Umeå University in Sweden on March 22nd.
"Our results suggest that some children who are at risk of becoming obese can be identified by their biological response to a stressor," said Lori Francis, associate professor of biobehavioral health. "Ultimately, the goal is to help children manage stress in ways that promote health and reduce the risks associated with an over- or under-reactive stress response."
Anger is a powerful emotion with serious health consequences. A new study from Concordia University shows that for millions of individuals around the world who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), anger is more than an emotion; it's an agent that exacerbates their illness.
The study, co-authored by Jennifer Glass, professor in the Department of Sociology and the Population Research Center, shows that most of the 30 percent of respondents who work from home add five to seven hours to their workweek compared with those who work exclusively at the office. They are also significantly less likely to work a standard 40 hour schedule and more likely to work overtime. In fact, most telecommuting hours occur after an employee has already put in 40 hours of work at the office.
Men and women who are expectant parents have different stress reactions to relationship conflict, according to researchers at Penn State, who studied couples expecting their first child. In addition, recovery from the initial reaction to conflict also can be different for men and women, depending on individual difficulties, such as anxiety, or relationship difficulties, such as chronic relationship conflict.