Are you stressed or anxious?
There are big stressful events in our lives that we have little control over. But some stress we bring upon ourselves.
These little stressors of everyday life are under our control.
I’m on a quest to learn how to identify my stressors, reduce my stress or handle it better.
I don’t think we need to go into all the scary details about how stress and anxiety affect our health. We know it does.
What we need are the strategies to identify everyday stress,
reduce it and handle it better.
What causes me stress?
What makes my heart beat a little faster?
What makes my blood pressure to go up? What causes butterflies in my stomach?
A) Procrastination is a big one for me. I think I have lots of time so I leave tasks to the last minute.
Then I get stressed because I don’t have enough time to do the task well. Then I also beat myself up a little because I didn’t get the task done earlier. If my procrastination affects other people then I feel badly about that too.
This is a stressor I have control over. I can do something about it.
How will I reduce this stress?
I will schedule time to get tasks done early, by actually blocking off a chunk of time.
I will set an early deadline. I think I will also add in some accountability.
I will tell Don my imposed deadline and that will really help me get tasks done early.
I will apply this principle to getting ready for Christmas this year. (I hope to post some short videos on Facebook on how to reduce stress over the Christmas season.)
B) Unrealistic expectations. I am a ‘To Do List’ kind of person and I have a tendency to put too many things on my daily list.
I think of all the home tasks that need to bedone. I think about the preparation for the ministries I’m involved with.
I think about all the people I should contact or have coffee with. I think about the exercise I should do and the books I should read.
I get stressed, because of my perfectionist tendencies, when I can’t do them all.
How will I reduce this stress?
My new strategy is to have only 4 things on my list. Those are the true priorities for the day. Anything else is a bonus.
I’ve been trying this one for a few weeks and it has helped me a lot.
My list is doable!
C) Thinking and worrying about the future.
My Mom’s health is failing. I’m helping her navigate doctor’s appointments and managing awful side effects from medications.
I’m wondering how she will cope this winter. I want to fix everything and I can’t.
How will I handle this stress?
This is a stress that I can’t reduce but I can control how I handle it.
I can’t change my Mom’s health but I can control how I think about it. I can have control of my thoughts with God’s help.
When I think about my Mom and start worrying about her future, I hold that thought captive for a few seconds.
Then I say a quick prayer,
‘Thank you God for how you are already working out the details for my Mom.
Thank you that You care about her. I will trust You.’
Sometimes this prayer gets said over a dozen times a day.
But when I pray like this it puts God back in control.
I can leave the problem in His very capable hands.
Just insert your situation into this prayer if you like.
How about you my friend?
Identify some of those daily stressors-those things that cause your heart to beat faster and your blood pressure to go up.
After you identify them, take a few minutes and decide how you can reduce that stress or handle it differently.
Here’s a core verse to claim for our stress and anxiety.
“You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon Him, for you are His personal concern’. 1 Peter 5:7Phillips New Testament In Modern English.
I love how that version says, ‘for you are His personal concern’.
The God of the Universe cares personally about us and our stress and anxiety.
Today’s littlestep: Identify 3 things that cause you stress. Stressors that you have controlover. Then take a little step to reduce that stress or handle it differently.
I would love to hear what your stressors are and your plans to deal with them.