Blogging and stress

One occupational hazard of blogging is all the other blogs, which demand attention and stimulate thoughts about attitudes and beliefs.  Another is the pressure to keep a blog active with good quality posts.

As an “older blogger”, which seems to mean over 40, I have more life experience than many people and ought to have strategies for pacing myself.  (It is surprising how many older bloggers there are – some older people are “technology-averse” – but many also have more time to write and some are restricted in their mobility.)

In western culture, there are many pressures.  These include

  • to gain educational qualifications
  • to gain vocational qualifications/ professional qualifications
  • to have a good job
  • to appear successful
  • to be popular
  • to be happy (even governments measure happiness!)
  • to be well-informed
  • to have high standards in their hobbies (including blogging)

I am sure you can add others to the list.  This is a blog post, not a dissertation, after all!

Blogging may be a cause of stress (if bloggers set themselves impossible goals) or it may be used to help relieve it as many people find.  In the UK the Time to Change/Time to Talk website emphasises the benefits of blogging.

Many people become stressed trying to do what society seems to demand of them.  Some people also have pressure from the religious group they adhere to.  They may feel that there are many things they have to do or must refrain from doing.  If they feel they have failed, this is another cause of stress.

I don’t believe that this is how life was intended to be, although I am certainly not immune to stress myself.  However I think it is important to examine the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

He is reported as saying, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Whatever did he mean?  Nowadays, many people are familiar with the yoke of a garment, such as a shirt or sweater.  In Jesus’ day farmers used oxen to plough the fields.  These cattle would have been harnessed in pairs to pull a plough.  The part of the harness over their shoulders was a yoke.

Jesus invites us to be yoked with him and to let him (through his Spirit) guide our lives.  He does not force us to obey.  He does not promise that our lives will be without suffering or other difficulties.

His followers are not immune to mental illness, but I believe that as we grow in faith, trusting God to help us, we are able to cope better.  This does not mean “religion” is a crutch.  Living in fellowship (communication) with God gives us confidence in him, rather than looking to ourselves for self-confidence.

What He promises is peace and joy.  It has been said that JOY comes from putting

  • Jesus first,
  • Others next,
  • You last.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…  Galatians 5:22-26

There is a link on my sidebar to find out more.

 

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