3 Tips to Tame the Stress Monster
Do you feel stressed by the pace and pressures of daily living? Are worries and anxieties eating away at your insides while you try to smile and get through another day? Do you feel trapped because you don’t know what to do and are afraid of rejection or failure? We struggle through painful life situations, but there is hope for stress-free living.
Stress is a fact of life as relationships, school, hobbies, work, vacations, family, and problems place conflicting demands on our time, money, and resources. How do we take control back from the stress monster? We put life-giving boundaries in place to reclaim the joy of living. The tools of rest, reflection, and restoration help us enjoy our everyday lives.
1. Choose to Rest
The first step into stress-free living is rest. When we are tired from lack of sleep, down time, and healthy relationships, we can become cranky, make poor decisions, hide behind excuses, and become passive. Getting a good night’s sleep helps us make better decisions and think more creatively.
To combat the effects of anxiety and exhaustion, we can adopt this guiding principle: We will not make any destructive statements, drastic changes, or major decisions when we are exhausted or at our wits end. Personally, the best way to cope with distress is to put my trust in God and learn to rest in Him until He shows me what to do. I rest as faith triumphs over fear every time.
2. Practice the Art of Reflection
The second step into stress-free living is reflection. Practicing the art of reflection brings clarity. If time is taken to pause long enough, one can begin to recognize when a mistake was made or if there is a need to apologize for an action. Reflection helps us change direction or start anew. Looking into our self-imposed mirror sheds light on our true priorities.
Through the keen eyes of analysis, the reality of what has been happening becomes apparent. Necessary and healing actions come into focus. We can use our conclusions to shape a healthier response in the future.
Reflection is also a powerful tool to help regain focus and positive direction in life. Mindfulness practices allows for an opportunity to recognize and celebrate any successes or express thankfulness for the blessings or acts of kindness received. Contemplation allows us to step back and look for the good that is all around us. We see what we focus on.
3. Restore Key Relationships
The third step into stress-free living begins with restorating key relationships. In the midst of life’s struggles, there is often a need to reconnect after going through loss or trauma because relationships make up the fabric of our lives.
The moment we choose to listen, we change the tone of any misunderstanding or argument. We dislodge strife and confusion by actively listening to resolve conflict and lower everyone’s defenses. As we reconnect and listen, the threads of friendship are woven back together.
Rest, reflection, and restoration all work together to empower us to take personal responsibility of own spiritual, mental, social, and physical needs. It is healthy to give ourselves permission to enjoy our lives, release our fear and anxiety, and step into stress-free living.