That is not in dispute. And events have our stress levels skyrocketing. Many feel they’re about to blow a gasket. What can we, as believers, do to ease the pressure so that we think and act rationally and avoid some of the damage done by stress?
1. Pray. Too often we wait until we’re in a desperate situation to turn to prayer when it should be first on our action list. Prayer calms. It remind us that whatever is going on in our lives is but a speck on the bigger picture. It reminds us we’re not alone and of all God’s promises to us. To be our strength and fortress, that our enemies will not stand against us when God is for us. It reminds us that while we are not in control, the one we trust is, and He assures us that what is intended against us for bad shall be turned to good.
2.Relax your mind. Often when we’re troubled, regardless of the reason, we focus solely on what is troubling us. Instead we would better serve ourselves (and thus others) to step back. We would better serve ourselves to recall that we have faith.
3.Steep yourself in the Word. Nothing can refresh the mind, body and spirit like spending time communing with God, and we do that by taking refuge in His Word. Get lost in His Word. Let it comfort and reassure you. Let God’s wisdom and love surround you and seep deep inside so that it can calm you.
4.Watch films like Finger of God, The Pilgrim’s Progress and/or read books like 90 Minutes in Heaven, Conversations with God. Remove your mind from physical problems and focus for a few hours on your spiritual life.
5.Take a walk. Do something physical. It releases endorphins that lower stress levels. (Be sure to drink lots of water to flush your body, too. Very important, that.)
6.If you’re fatigued, get some rest. Weariness is hard on the body and clouds the mind. You need to be rested to deal with whatever has you stressed effectively.
7.Once you’ve calmed your emotions and regained your center, you should feel less stressed and more balanced. Now focus on your stress points. Look at the challenge. Get informed. Once you have, then you’re positioned to make wise choices.
Right now, many who write to me are panicking about the US election for president–people from both political sides and independents. It can be a time of high anxiety–if you’re uniformed.
I’ve spent a lot of time getting informed and as an American, there are three things you need to know that will remove the cloud of confusion and settle your mind on the matter. It takes less than 2-1/2 hours.
1. Watch the episode of Sean Hannity’s America that ran last night on Fox News.
2. Watch the Fox News Special on the Economy that ran Saturday and Sunday nights. This will give you an historical accounting of what led up to the economic crisis. It names the challenges, who did what and when, and what must be done to get us through this effectively. (Namely, not make the same mistakes made after the Great Depression that prolonged the Great Depression.)
3. Look at the voting records of the candidates.
Do that, and your stress level will drop because you’ll know what you need to do and you’ll know that your decision is the best one you can make for your future and that of your children and grandchildren.
Then you pray that others do these three things, too, so that collective wisdom is expressed.
Then you can be at peace. You’ve done what you can do and you trust God. Remember that in the Bible, actions are always two-part. Seek and then you’ll find. Knock and then the door will be opened. Ask and it shall be given to you. So do your part, ask God to do his part, and then be at peace on it.
Stress kills. But only if you let it. These tips will be you taking a pro-active role to diminishing stress levels in your future.
c2008, Vicki Hinze