Monday, August 23, 2010

Removing Stress From Our Lives


"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." - Psalm 94:19

The busy executive, the mid-level manager, the high school teacher, the stay-at-home mom - we all face our own stress makers each and every day. The demands of our roles in life affect our souls. Like a sponge we soak up what we experience around us and look for ways of letting it all out. When we are squeezed too tightly or jarred, we leak at best and spew at worst on those around us - all the stuff that has built up inside our impressionable souls. Stress consumes physical, emotional, and mental energy.

What most of us forget is that stress is both residual and cumulative. Layers and layers of prolonged stress affect every aspect of our lives, and if not dealt with, lead to burnout - where coping skills and fundamental ways of dealing with stress are short-circuited in a person's soul. There is no margin, no reserve, nothing to pull from with which to deal with what is happening around and in you.

Physical exhaustion, inability to sleep, nightmares, depression, change in eating habits, irritability, anger explosions, withdrawing from meaningful relationships, shrinking back from engaging in meaningful conversations, a feeling of emptiness, sexual dysfunction, and escapist thinking all manifest in the soul.

When not properly dealt with, stress manifests itself in dangerous ways: high blood pressure, panic and anxiety disorders, heart disease, gastric disease, and even some forms of cancer. In extremely stressful situations, faith sometimes becomes mute, prayers nonexistent. Spiritual dryness often results from long seasons of exposure to various forms of stress. The ripple effect of this is enough to disturb every person around the stressed-out person.

What are you feeling during these days of economic challenge, social change, and international war? Are you seeing your dreams erode like sand at the beach? Are you suffering the silent stress of being overworked and underpaid? Do you have pain in your lower back, tension with your child, conflict with your spouse, and pressure at your job?

There is hope to be found in these areas of your life. You can reduce the stress in your life and cultivate the fruit of serenity to the everlasting benefit of your soul.

1. Take your concerns to God first.

2. Practice spiritual discipline and slow down. Begin with a few moments of silence. Journal how you might eradicate hurry from your life in the next day, week or month.

3. Seek to explore what is contributing to your stress and resolve to reduce it by 20%. Such as leaving for work a little earlier or later to avoid dealing with traffic.

4. Park in the farthest parking place and pray as you walk. Talk it out with God.

5. Put some humor in your life. Rent some funny videos or check out some great Christian comedians.

6. Join the slow food movement and decide not to eat fast food for a month.

7. Do something that gives you life everyday. What makes you come alive?

8. Choose one day a week to give up all technology for the day. No emails, voicemails, or the internet. Give them a day of rest.

9. Become less available to people's demands. Learn to say No to some things.

10. Walk at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week. Go with your friend, a spouse or your family and just get out and talk.

See if incorporating some of these things doesn't reduce the wear and tear you feel on yourself and the way you interact with those around you for the better!

18 comments:

markwilson said...

Stress is really harmful for the health.It will also affect's the sexual health.For reducing the stress we need to do exercise.

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Denise said...

Amen, good advice sis.

LV said...

Thank you for your informative post on stress. Stress will kill you if its not controlled. Blessings for a good week.

Divine Mrs D said...

I've definitely been trying a few of those things. I DEFINITELY need to learn to say no. That one is so hard for me. Thank you for the post!

NanaNor's said...

Hi sweet friend, This is such a good post and several areas I felt I could completely relate too. Thank you so much for sharing, now if only I could get hubby to practice these life might be a bit rosier.
Hugs to you today.
Noreen

Cathy said...

Very good ideas. I definitely need to try some of these.

Girly Muse said...

This is such a great post, Kat. So many helpful ways to help get stress out. I needed this. Blessings and love to you today!

Just Be Real said...

Something I need today Kat. Thank you.

Niecy said...

Hello Sweet Kat!!!
Thank You soooo much for posting this! So many of us are really feeling the stress due to end of summer transitions. This post really helped me and I will be using the advice.
Have a Blessed and Stress free week. I will keep you in my prayers.
God Bless With Love,
Niecy

Charlotte said...

Lovely suggestions for any day of the week...

Debby said...

Those are wonderful suggestions. Thank you.

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Janet said...

Thank you for the great advice on stress. It is something that I work on everyday.

Blessings& Hugs

momstheword said...

These are excellent! Hope it didn't stress you out to much to write them, hahaha!

We've had some stressful times, like all people, but I have always found God keeps His promises, just as He promised. He is always faithful!

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Kat, That's some excellent advice. Thanks for posting it. ~Ron

Tea with Tiffany said...

I love all of your practical tips. :) I love to laugh and had a fun time laughing tonight with my daughter. I count it as my ab workout. LOL

Seizing My Day said...

This is a great post about Stress... I have a personal testimony about excessive stress in ones life... it has taken me a couple years to off load it... I could write a book about it! *sigh* =) Many of those things on the list have certainly helped me!! =)

Dena E's Blog said...

Hey Girlfriend ,,WOW what an awesome post!!! You are such a blessing to us !!!... I just had to stop by and say hey,,,"Hey"..
Hope you have had a super day...
Sorry for the lateness,,it seems I get to be the one starting a bug here in our home..I pray it is NOT a sign of things to come this flu season ;0)
Gods Blessings all around you and Hugs from me to You~~~ Dena