Is your life showing signs of stress cracks? Are you always tired? Do you find yourself forgetting information or often losing things? Do you yell at the people in your life?
With the hectic lifestyles we lead today it is easy to get overloaded to the point of cracking. Before you find your life beginning to slip into the cracks, take a step back and look at your foundation.
All houses, even those on a solid foundation, need maintenance to ensure they stand strong. When your foundation is built on the Solid Rock of God, your best maintenance is spending time with God daily. Read your Bible, study God’s word, and…
Pray. Ask for God’s direction regarding your schedule. Listen for His guidance. If He leads you to release some activities (and He probably will), then do it. Learn to say no under His guidance and leave the situation in His hands.
When you turn things over, really turn them over to God in prayer, there will be peace in your heart and you will feel stress cracks begin to close. First Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our cares on the Lord for He cares for us. We aren’t strong enough to support the load, but He is.
Another way God shows He cares is by giving us friends. God uses friends to speak to us, to help build us up and support us. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us that a friend will lift us up when we are down and in need of help.
Talk with a trusted friend. Discuss the things in your life that are causing you stress. Talking about stressful situations releases the bottled up energy that increases stress. Many times a friend will help you to see things in a different and often more positive light.
But if you aren’t comfortable talking about what stresses you with another person, you can…
Write about it. Getting your thoughts out of your head into print often will help to clarify exactly what is causing you to be stressed and may lead you to see solutions for decreasing that stress.
Additional maintenance tasks include the following:
Get plenty of sleep. Forgetfulness is one way your mind tells you it needs more rest. Your mind needs sleep to give it time to process the daily influx of information. When you aren’t getting enough sleep your mind starts to become a jumbled up mess.
I think of it sort of like an administrative assistant. If you just keep piling your papers on a desk and don’t give the assistant time to sort them and store them in the proper files before long you won’t be able to locate information when you need it. Get some rest, give that assistant, your brain, time to catch up on the filing!
Eat healthy foods. Often during times of stress people will reach for comfort foods. The problem with that is many of those are laden with fat and/or sugar (a simple carb that causes blood sugar “crashes”), which can make you lethargic and less likely to deal with stress. Your body needs the vitamins and minerals found in healthy foods to combat stress.
Scientists tell us we need to eat complex carbs which help produce serotonin, a hormone that relaxes us, and fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, which are stress busters.
Exercise. Exercise increases the production of ‘feel good’ endorphins and relaxes your muscles so you can rest better. Something as simple as walking around the block every day can get those endorphins pumping through your body. More intense forms of exercise on a regular basis can help ease your stress even more.
As you prepare to face your day spend some quality time with God, eat a healthy breakfast and march (exercise!) forth today to ….
Be a blessing,