Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stress: the silent killer

Stress is a silent killer. Seriously. It affects us physically, emotionally, mentally and it definitely affects us spiritually. Stress can sap your joy and turn you into a crabby apple that no one wants to be around. Regardless of what our culture may teach, we do not need to wear stress like it's a badge of honor. The amount of stress in your life does not determine your value or your worth. Too often we're tempted to say, "Oh I'm so stressed," as though that automatically shows how important you must be because there are so many demands on your time. No, no NO!

Here the voice of God as He gently beckons: “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a)

Resting in God is not always easy but it's certainly worth it. Resting in Him takes commitment as we choose to release our worries to Him. But when we rest in Him, we'll find that the simple joys of life actually bring us joy and create a space for us to rest in Him.

Here are some more ideas for dealing with stress in your life:

*If you see a stranger who is crying, ask them if they are okay, and offer to pray for them.

*Don't discount how beautiful you are because you are made in God's image.

*Stop and watch the sunset.

*Take a vacation – and don't take your laptop or cell phone.

*Give a total stranger a compliment. And pray that they will pass it forward.

*Listen to soothing music, such as classical music, or nature sounds. (Or in my case, I find it relaxing to listen to hip hop or rap, so whatever works for you!)

*Plan an outing with your friends.

*Do something you've always wanted to do but never had the courage. With God, all things are possible.

*If you see a beautiful field of flowers, stop and smell them. Or lay in them.

*Take care of yourself through exercise and healthy eating.

*Pick several bible verses that apply to a difficult situation you are facing and memorize them.

*Pray your memorized verses out loud to God every day.

*Remember that nobody is perfect, so stop trying to be.

*Sing at the top of your lungs to your favorite song in the car, and don't worry about whether or not anyone is looking.

*Care about other people's feelings.

*Try to put others needs before your own.

*Plan a weekend getaway.

*Eat a scoop of your favorite ice cream, without feeling guilty about it.

*Write a hand written letter to encourage someone and mail it to them.

*Send someone an email with a bible verse to encourage them if they are facing a challenging adversity.

*Take an early morning walk and listen to the sounds of nature around you.

*Be confident in who you are, because God is.

*Remember to forgive others, since we only hurt ourselves by refusing to do so.

*Keep a journal to jot down your feelings.

*Write a letter to someone you are in conflict with, maybe saying things you would never say face to face. Then throw that letter away and pray for that person.

*Remember that when one door closes, God opens another.

*Get involved with a community or church bible study.

*Quit trying to control things that you have no control over.

*Surrender your difficult circumstance to God, and don't take it back.

*Stop worrying over something that God already has under control. Worrying is trying to take responsibility for something God never intended us to be responsible for.

*Go to bed early so you will be refreshed the next day.

*Sit quietly on your deck or in your yard, and just listen for God's voice.

*Give someone a compliment, even if they don't deserve it

*Remember that stress is an outward symptom of an inner situation. Ask God to help you deal with your stress, and fill you with His peace all day long.

Perhaps we can all steps, even if they are just baby steps, toward resting in God. Perhaps we we just trusted Him a little more each day, we would find ourself less stressed.

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