Google “Stress Relief.” Go ahead. What do you find? Countless hits about relaxation techniques, exercises, organization systems, and even foods that will help to relieve your stress.
A friend of mine is heading toward the finish line of attaining her doctorate. That’s a lot of work. I think she handles it beautifully but there are natural stressors that come with things like that. For Christmas I wanted to get her a gift that would allow her to relax and take it easy. But I thought about it and relaxing is good. Healthy, even. But it doesn’t make your stressors go away. It doesn’t change anything…other than your attitude, which can be a good thing. Sometimes that’s all it takes. But as I thought about it, I wanted to know a real way to get rid of stress. I realized a lot of people have stress. And stress often gets the better of me too. So what would I want to help me get through a largely stressful time? A checklist. Yes, I am that type of person. I want someone to tell me what to do to get through a tough spot. So here is what I put together, my stress relieving checklist:
Stress Relieving “Check List”
1.) Pray. Prayer works wonders. “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
2.) Read. Reading scripture will help you not only to relax, but to gain wisdom. Wisdom is seeing and responding to life situations from God’s frame of reference. “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
3.) Share. Talk to someone about your worries. Ask others to pray for you and with you. “Share each other’s burdens and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
4.) Be joyful. Joyfulness vs. Self-Pity: The spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with God. “Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place.” 1 Chronicles 16:27
5.) Forgive. Clear the record of those who have wronged you and allow God to love them through you. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12
6.) Love. Shower others with love. Give to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
7.) Have faith. Faith is picturing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it. “So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:5
8.) Eat some chocolate. 🙂 “Eat this. It helps.”- Professor R.J. Lupin: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
9.) Call a friend. Go. Call. Go now.
10.) Enjoy life. Have enthusiasm about life! Express the joy in your soul! Jesus has given you life. Take pleasure in it.
Ps: God is surprised by nothing. God knows it all. He is your guide, your strength, your shelter. Do not search for these comforts in men but in the place of the Lord. Sit at His feet for wisdom, discernment and understanding.
(Many definitions I got from Operational Definitions of Character Qualities: developed by IBLP.)
Now, I know that a checklist doesn’t solve everything and that following steps isn’t always going to get you out of the stress zone…but I thought about something that could be read to re-charge, re-focus, and re-tune my mind. When I am stressed I need to step back, take a look at myself, and calibrate my attitude, actions and reactions. I thought this would be something I should post in every room of my house so that I can pause and remember that I am to be focused on others, not myself. I am to be serving the Lord always, and enjoying the life He has given me. I thought I’d share this list because I know as mothers, sisters, co-workers, managers, and friends, we all struggle with some type of stress. Let God help you relieve it.