People worry about all sorts of things that cause extra stress in their lives. We think about aging and if we have enough for retirement. We worry about the mortgage payment. We worry about the safety of our kids or spouse when they are a few minutes late. We worry about if we’ll lose our jobs. We worry about our bodies falling apart or being consumed by sickness.
That’s a lot of worry! But think, what if you could determine how much you let stress rule you…or how much you rule over it.
Consider a few myths about stress first, from Loretta LaRouche’s “Relax-you may only have a few minutes left”:
- Stress is the same for everybody- WRONG! It is different for each person. What is stressful for one person may not affect another at all. As an example, having dinner guests over my be very stressful for the wife, but may not bother her husband one bit! (who’s doing the cooking and cleaning, I wonder!)
- Stress is always bad for you- NOPE! Stress is to life what tension is to a violin string…too little and the music is dull; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the ‘spice of life’ or the ‘kiss of death’ depending on how you manage it!
- Stress is everywhere-NOT SO! You can do something about stress, including taking a humorous approach to lighten the burden and give you perspective.
- No symptoms, no stress- DON’T BE FOOLED! Stress that is getting to you can camouflage itself through medications you may be taking, for instance. Then all of the sudden, it hits you!
- Only major symptoms require attention. NO, NO, NO! Things such as headaches or backaches that you haven’t had before, sudden heartburn or indigestion should not be ignored. These can be clear signs that something is starting to get out of hand in your life.
So what do you do? Let me give you a few simple ideas for managing stress in your life:
- Laugh! The Bible itself tells us that laughter does good like a medicine! (Prov. 17:22) It’s a good workout, too! Laughing for 10 minutes is like doing 100 sets on a rowing machine!
- Take deep breaths regularly throughout the day. This relieves tension and helps you relax.
- Don’t try to do everything perfect! You aren’t God, so you won’t anyway! Make a list of things ‘not to do’!
- Talk to yourself. Tell yourself good things about…you! Also, tell yourself specifically good things God says about you. Quoting scripture is great to remind yourself that you are somebody important to God!
- If you don’t have to suffer, don’t practice for fun! Sometimes we suffer in area’s because we can’t say ‘no’ to things, which in turn effects our sleep, time with family, etc… It is OK to say no sometimes, even on the job!
- Stop Global Whining! If you complain about something more than three times a day, you are whining. Either do something to change it or stop doing it!
- Set realistic goals. I had a very depressed house-mother tell me one time that she just couldn’t get anything done. I asked her for her list of ‘things to do’ and it was 7 handwritten pages long-for that day! Unless you are the Flash or God Himself, don’t try to do more than 5-7 big things and 8-10 small things in a day. Feeling successful for accomplishing a smaller list is more productive that feeling like a failure for not accomplishing a larger list!
- Don’t ‘Should’ yourself- Whenever you start thinking about what you ‘should have done’ realize that you are only consuming time and energy that could be used on what you ARE doing, making it less productive or effective.
- Stop the Worry- Worry is a sin…did you know that? Yup, it’s in the Bible. Understand what is in your control and what is not, then realize that it’s ALL in God’s control anyway and you aren’t going to change that! Let Him be in control. He’s a better driver that you’ll ever be!
Smile, Jesus Loves you!