Community Heals Stress

May 13, 2013Archive


In the aftermath of speaking, I often get sick. This happens a lot. I expend quite a bit of me when I speak, pouring heart and soul into my messages, then praying for people afterward. So I spent Monday resting.

One of the things I watched was a documentary about stress. I learned that stress grows the lower your economic status is. I saw how it caused the casing of our DNA to deteriorate.

Trauma, especially of the childhood variety, accounted for many stress-related diseases in adulthood. One study showed how stress even caused problems in people if their mothers were under stress during pregnancy. By about three-quarters of the way through the documentary, I wanted to shout, “Well, it’s not fair! What if you’re poor? Or your mom had stress? Or you experienced trauma? Were you doomed to stress related illness?”

But then, alas, some light. They learned, too, that the protective covering over our DNA, which naturally ebbs when we age but deteriorates rapidly from stress, can actually be rebuilt.

The missing ingredient? Community.

If people were on a lower economic strata, but had great relationships, the damage from stress was reversed. If folks who had trauma in their past, but connected with others, they emerged healthy.

The Wall Around Your Heart (Jpeg Format)

What an amazing proof of God’s truth! People wound us. But people also heal us. And by withdrawing from others in a mode of self-protection, we cut off the very means to make us better.

I wrote an entire book about this called The Wall Around Your Heart. It’s up on Amazon now (yay!) and will release in October. I wrote it for those of you who are so burned by others that you’ve walled off your heart. It’s safe, but boy is it lonely. And bitter. Don’t settle for a detached life.

How about you? How has community salved and rejuvenated you after a bout of stress? Share your story in the comments below.