Reduce Stress in Your Life
- Thursday, July 25, 2002
Here are some ways you can reduce stress in your life:
- Accept and embrace God's unconditional love, which is based on who you are (God's child) rather than what you accomplish.
- Realize that your resources of time and energy are limited, and commit to allocating them wisely. Think and pray about what values are most important to you, then prioritize your life accordingly. Don't feel guilty about saying no to people who ask you to do something that isn't a priority God has led you toward.
- When you're experiencing stress, change the way you think. Shift your focus temporarily away from the problem and onto something relaxing, think objectively rather than emotionally, and talk to yourself in positive rather than negative ways.
- Take a rest break - for an hour, an afternoon, a day or even a weekend. Visit a place where you can be alone and silent. Use the time to think and pray about situations in your life that are causing you stress.
- Let go of unrealistic expectations of others and yourself. Don't expect any human being to be perfect. Be humble, realizing that you need to depend on God's grace to live successfully.
- Trust God to guide you in all aspects of your life.
- Confess wrong attitudes and actions, and seek to make amends. Ask God to forgive you for your mistakes and help you forgive others for theirs.
- Read the Bible and devotional writings for inspiration and greater perspective.
- Choose a job that allows you to do work you truly love. Never take a job just to make money. Don't be afraid to make a change so you can enter the right job for you.
- Pursue your dreams. Have you always wanted to take piano lessons? Incorporate them into your life. Would you like to visit a particular foreign country? Go ahead and schedule a trip.
- Don't do for other people on a long-term basis what you can teach them to do for themselves after helping them on a short-term basis. Realize that it's often more loving to help people by empowering them rather than simply doing their work.
- Don't get bogged down in other people's emotions. It's great to feel compassion for people, but remain objective, realizing that you are a separate person. Pray for them and counsel them, but don't attempt to solve their problems yourself.
- Eat in ways that combat stress. Take time to enjoy your food without rushing through meals, eat for nutrition rather than for emotional reasons (such as indulging in chocolate to try to relax), and keep healthy snack items on hand for stressful times (such as fruit and low-fat protein).
- Drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
- Consider vitamin, mineral, amino acid, hormonal, homeopathic and herbal supplements that might help bring your body back into a healthy balance. For example, consider vitamins such as B-complex vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. But always consult a physician before taking any supplements because they might interact with prescription medications or affect you in other ways you might not anticipate.
- Release physical stress from your body through stretching, acupressure, aerobics, weight-resistance workouts, massage, chiropractic therapy, and sleep.
Adapted from Reducing Stress: Natural Remedies for Better Living, copyright 2002 by David Hazard. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or. Look for this book in your local Christian bookstore or click on the link below to buy it online.
David Hazard is an award-winning author and founder of The New Nature Institute, which is dedicated to studying the use of Christian spiritual disciplines and natural remedies to maintain well-being and promote healing. Hazard lives with his family in northern Virginia.
What is causing stress in your life right now, and why? How are you trying to reduce unnecessary stress? What strategies would you like to recommend to others? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.
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