5 Ways To Manage Stress
Burden. Overload. Stress. Do these words describe the way you feel about life? If that’s the case, I want you to know you’re not alone. And with God’s help, you can change your outlook and overcome your situation. No matter what’s going on around you, you can have a life in Christ filled with peace and joy.
Stress occurs when you perceive that demands placed on you such as work, school or relationships — exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and take a severe emotional toll.
- Say something positive. If you constantly feel overwhelmed or under stress and you can’t pinpoint the exact reason, start making some Biblical daily confessions. Rather than getting up each day, talking about how bad things are, begin each day declaring God’s Word and His promises over your life. I am more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37) God will provide for my every need! (Matthew 6:26) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)
- Take a break from the stressor. It may seem difficult to get away from a big work project, a crying baby or a growing credit card bill. But when you give yourself permission to step away from it, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed. It’s important to not avoid your stress (those bills have to be paid sometime), but even just 20-minutes to take care of yourself is helpful.
- Exercise. The research keeps growing — exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
Meditate. Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practicing a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits.
- Smile and laugh. Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. So laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.