Aggg!!! Stress!! The sleep-eating, face-breakout, sugar-consuming, head-throbbing monster! Yup, I have met it all too many times.
Quite great acquaintances actually… 😉 Yet, not the best relationship here.
Stress is a constant battle I am granted to fight in my life with stories of many failures and victories. I’ll admit most things I stress over are pathetic.
And guess what? 99.99% of the time (okay maybe 100%) when I look back, I wonder why I stressed at all. Because things always end up working out and stressing was only a waste of my time.
Did you know when we worry, we are either wasting our time or not acting when we should? Because if we can fix something why are we worrying and not fixing? And if we can’t, then what’s the point of worrying because it is out of our control?
I’m not an expert. Trust me. I tell myself these things every single day and yet I continually forget and fall into the trap of worry and stress.
So for everyone out there who’s in the same boat as me and can relate (I’m sure I’m not alone) I thought I’d share six ways that I cope with stress. Maybe they can help you and if you have any other ways I didn’t address, I’d love to hear!!
Stress is not what happens to us. It’s how we choose to react to what happens.
The key to this is silence. Not silence to let my thoughts get carried away with worry, but to surrender myself to God in prayer. I can’t begin to say how much prayer in Adoration has saved my sanity and brought me back to focus. This is by far the most important method to dealing with stress. Going to Adoration gives me a chance to escape from life and its busyness. I can lay all my worries down at the feet of Jesus and spend the time focusing solely on Him, forgetting all the trifle things of life.
When I take the time to think of everything I am thankful for, I realize how blessed I truly am. If I am so blessed, my worries appear small. Making lists of gratitude shifts my focus towards the positive and off the negative that I am tempted to stress over.
Stress is negative. It comes from negativity and results in negative and affects negatively. If I don’t let myself shift towards negative thoughts then I can’t even open that door to stress. Having a positive mindset doesn’t leave room for negative worry.
I’m sure we can all admit of more than one time when we waited to the last minute to complete a task or assignment. Stressful just a bit eh? I know some people say they work best under pressure… well not me 😉 By waiting to the last minute is only asking for stress that doesn’t need to be there. If I don’t procrastinate then that risk is not there.
This tip was actually given to me by my father. I hadn’t thought about it before, but one way to lower stress is to be realistic. How quickly can our thoughts be blown out of proportion in our head. And when we try to put it into words we realize how ridiculous it sounds. It is important to be realistic. Not only in what I decide to undertake, but what I expect from myself. If I’m setting unrealistic expectations on myself, then I’m only asking for the stress of trying to reach goals I never will.
This is exactly what stress is the lack of. Trust. When I worry, all I am saying is I don’t trust that God will take care of me. If God doesn’t desert us, if He always takes care of us, why worry? If I fully trust that God is in control, I have no reason to stress.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear… Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry” Matthew 6:25-31
If you want a bit more advice from someone way better, this video really helped me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVSNU56pAxg