Being in control of stress
Stress is a poison. If you aren’t careful with how you handle the stress in your life it can destroy not only you but those around you. There are many studies done on stress that show the negative side effects of stress, just a quick google search will show you there are severe consequences to allowing stress control you. According to a study done by stress.org in 2014, the study shows that 77% of people experience physical symptoms caused by stress.
Stress happens to everyone. It’s not something you can avoid unless you live under a rock. There are the stresses of school, the stresses of work, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping a good relationship with your spouse, starting a business. It all will bring stress. But stress won’t control you if you have the right tools. Stress may even strengthen you if you approach it in a proactive manner.
Here’s how you can be in control of your stress:
Pray and Meditate
I have always prayed here and there since I began my relationship with Christ, but when I began to be intentional to pray and meditate each morning before the craziness of the day I noticed a major difference on how each day went.
Now let me tell you what this looks like for me (it may look different for you and that’s okay!).
I thank God, I ask for my needs, I thank Him for those needs in advance, I talk to Him about what may be on my heart, and then I stop talking. This is where my piece of meditation comes in. I sit with a notebook, and hear for His voice. Whatever I believe I am hearing from God, I jot it down. I think about God. I think about His Word during this time. I focus on particular verses that pertain to me in that season, or what I may have journaled about on that morning. I challenge myself to do this for at least 15 minutes, but starting with even 5 minutes a day will get your day started on the right track.
2. Evaluate your situation
When you’re dealing with a stressful time, take some time to pause. Whether it’s going to the bathroom or taking a walk, be sure to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Is it really as bad as you’re thinking? Usually, it’s not. I have also noticed that when I share whatever stressful situation I’m in to someone I trust, when I say it out loud to them it I tend to say, “Well, that was kind of ridiculous, and not as big of a deal as I thought!”. So, pause, reflect, and talk to someone about it.
3. Be aware of the physical symptoms
Okay, now when we’re stressed our body tends to give us all these cues that we should be aware of! Stress takes a toll on our body in so many different ways; low energy, headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, insomnia...the list goes on! When you feel your heart racing, go back to step number two. If you’re starting to cry due to stress, take a deep breath and meditate! Recognize the way your body responds to stress before stress takes over.
Stress doesn’t have to control us. Take the time to pray and meditate, evaluate your situation, and be aware of the physical cues stress gives you.
If these tips would help a friend of yours handle their stress better, share this with them so they know they aren’t alone.
How do you handle stress successfully? Comment below, I would love to have a compilation of different ways to be in control of the stress in my own life.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Lou Holtz