Do you or someone you know experience any of these symptoms?
- Back pain
- High blood pressure
- Vulnerability to infections
- Feeling overwhelmed
There may be hundreds more symptoms but these are scientifically validated to being connected to stress. Paul and I recently saw the movie War Room. We don’t normally recommend movies, but this is definitely a Must See! It led us down the path of how much stress people have from their daily lives. Whether it is the kids, the elderly parents, the grandchildren or the job; the stressors in life can and will kill unless you manage them and don’t let them manage you! While you may not be able to change your life circumstances, you can learn to deal with them in ways that promote the well-being you want and deserve.
Here are our Top Eleven Ways to Manage Stress
Make a “gratitude list” and say “thank you.” When under stress, sit down and make a list of all the things and people you are grateful for. If possible, call or write those you are grateful to and let them know of your gratitude. Don’t forget to listen to their response.
Eating properly can help to reduce stress. Skip the sugars, salts, caffeine and food additives. They will not only add to the stress, but will make you sick as well.
Enjoy the Weather
During the autumn and winter months, the sun lays low on the horizon. The leaves fall as nature gracefully goes through its annual recovery stage. The sun can more easily penetrate through the branches of trees and warm you. Take advantage of this by standing outside on a sunny autumn or winter day. Let the warmth of the lowered sun gently massage your back or feel the warmth on your face.
Meditate. Use breathing, relaxation and mindfulness skills. Take care of your spirit. Write out your prayers and tape them to your wall. Get on your knees and don’t be afraid to talk to God. The War Room movie will teach you how!
Take a Walk
Either solo, with family or friends or with your pet. Get physically active. Start moving. Don’t let the weather, your schedule or anything else get in your way. Moving your body is vital to stress reduction.
Smile. Learn to laugh at yourself. Practice positive self talk. This is a skill building technique. The more you practice positive thinking and positive talking, the more easily it will come to you. Break the negative thinking pattern! Take Dr. Neil Nedley’s challenge: Only speak and think positive thoughts for 24 hours.
Have a Plan
Make a daily schedule and stick with it. Prepare and rehearse a positive way to respond to a particular stressor. If you know you will be having a stressful encounter, pray over it, plan your strategy and then give it up to God!
Get a healthy amount of quality sleepNeither too much nor too little. Your brain not only needs food as its fuel, it needs sleep just as much. The sleep that comes from a dark, quiet room. Turn off Facebook and turn on the ZZZZ’s.
Create Joy and SatisfactionYou have heard it said “Never Let Them Take Away Your Joy!” Joy and Satisfaction are not “results to strive for”, they are actually acquired during the journey. They are never guaranteed, and they don’t last forever. But, you can train your mind to see Joy in everything. You can be satisfied in the smallest of situations and it all comes from staring in the right direction. Turn toward the Light that will sustain you in everything. Turn toward Jesus!
The Bible is filled with verses that tell you the value of helping others. But the value is actually greater for you than it is for them. If you want to de-stress, give someone else a hand. You will find your breathing is deeper than it was before.
Connect with Others
No man is an island. Your stress is easily reduced when you share your burden. This means finding someone who is trustworthy and you believe is a credible person and is willing to share your burden. It isn’t about whether they can actually assist you or not. It is about trusting someone to listen. Often times once you hear yourself speak, you can more easily find solutions.
The movie the War Room is a definite wake-up call for Americans and everyone else. We need to address our skeletons and our stressors in the most powerful way . . . in the War Room! You will know what I mean after you have watched this movie. Go find yourself a War Room. It will change your life!