Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stressed Out

How many of us are stressed out? The demands of life pile up, people let us down, expectations aren't met, committments get overwhelming....let's face it, too often life runs at 100 mph. But maybe, just maybe, we aren't meant to live that fast. Surely God doesn't intend for us to live stressed out. After all, in the midst of your stress and tiredness, His voice calls out, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28b NIV)

When you feel like you just can't take any more, He gently reminds you, "I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10b NIV)

When you feel alone, hear the promise that He offers, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b NIV)

I've been getting these daily emails from Tracie Miles with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She's been going a 10 day stress detox. Here are the 10 day steps:

Day 1 RECOGNIZE the real root problem of your stress
Day 2 REFLECT on what things from your past may be causing you stress today
Day 3 RECLAIM your identity in Christ
Day 4 REDIRECT your thoughts. Become an optimist.
Day 5 REARRANGE your priorities if needed
Day 6 REFRESH your body, mind and soul
Day 7 RELEASE negative emotions to God
Day 8 REFOCUS on God
Day 9 REINFORCE your faith

Sounds simple, right? Just follow the 10 steps and BAM! Okay, not quite. In fact, today she gave a link to a list of 100 ways to control stress. I won't share all 100 here but I will pick out some of my favorites and then perhaps share more in a future post. So here goes.....
*Set aside a specific time each day to talk to God and read His Word

*Be sure to get enough sleep and stay hydrated

*Get up 10-20 minutes earlier than needed to avoid the possibility of running late. (Because we all know how being late can add to your stress!)

*Don't rely on your memory alone – write things down to be on the safe side.

*If you need help with something, don't be too prideful to ask. (I need a lot of help with this one!!)

*Pray before saying “yes” to additional responsibilities in any area of your life. (Pretty sure she was talking to me on this one.)

*If you haven't done it lately, make a list of your priorities. Then make sure how you are spend your time is accurately aligned with your priorities. Make adjustments if needed.

*Avoid people who are always negative. Pessimism is contagious. Instead make an effort to be around people who are generally positive. Optimism is also contagious.

*Use your time wisely and don't try to multi-task everything.

*Purge the items in your closet and drawers and organize your clothes. Give what you don't wear or need anymore to a needy family or charity.

*Try to schedule a few minutes each day to just sit down, close your eyes and unwind.

*Watch a funny movie which makes you laugh until your sides hurt. (Better yet, watch that movie with a friend and you can both laugh until you cry.)

*Smile. And the make it a conscious habit throughout your day. Even when you're feeling grumpy.

*Tell someone in a public place that they have the cutest baby or child ever. Their smile and pride will bring a smile to your face.

*If you have lost your ability to relax, ask God to help you get it back.

*Schedule some time each day to do a bible devotion.

*Call a friend that you haven't talked to in a long time and catch up on each other's lives.

*Ask God to forgive you for any sins you have not confessed or repented of yet.

*Ask God for the ability to forgive yourself, if you are having a hard time doing that.

*Commit to not listen to negative self talk. See yourself through God's eyes.

*Don't let other people opinions sway your decisions of right and wrong. Stand firm in your faith.

*Read a good book that makes you feel happy at the end.

*Take an extra long hot shower.

*Buy some scented bubble bath beads and take a long bath with candles on the counter.

*Get a pedicure in a relaxing salon.

*Believe that you have great value because God formed you perfectly in the womb.

*Try to see yourself each day based on who God says you are, not what the mirror implies.

*Stop saying negative things to yourself about yourself.

*Set goals for yourself and for your life so you can stay on track with your dreams.

*Ask God to clarify your spiritual gifts, and then begin using them for His glory.

*Give a homeless person some cash or a hot meal.

*Don't wait for what God is going to do tomorrow. Be aware of what He is doing today.

Stay tuned for more helpful ways to deal with stress.

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