What do you when you are stressed?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I'm not sure if you can tell but since I started this blog in 2003, I've had some major battles with stress. I am thankful to God that I won each one and each year, I continue to learn how to manage stress well so it doesn't manage me.

The other day, I was mapping a running route for my running group. My mind told me "I'm under stress." I quickly told my mind: "NOPE! Stress is under me."

Here are six ways to stay in control when you are navigating stress:

1. Recognize you are stressed - denial will not help you at all. I learned that accepting the feeling of stress is actually good. Denial only delays the process of management. I accept that I am stress by greeting it. Once I say, "Oh, hey. I see you." I immediately move on to the next step.

2. Identify the source of stress - This requires asking myself some leading questions. What is concerning me? Why do I feel these feelings? Writing helps. Thinking about it helps. I don't dwell in this step too long. Identification is followed by action. There's no need to identify the source of stress just to stop there. Let's move to the next step with confidence.

3. Pray about the situation - God wants to hear about the source of your stress. He has the right solution for your burden. Talk to Him. Cry if you feel tears are coming. He will give you beauty for ashes at the end of it all. That's the kind of God He is: wonderful.

4. Talk about the situation - Chances are, you know the right person who can handle your stressful situation. They will listen attentively. They will offer advice if you ask for it. They will be supportive and they won't gossip about your stuff. Let me remind you that Facebook is not that person. You need a real human being who can be trusted with your troubles.

5. Find intentional relaxation moments - Last year, I majored in finding intentional relaxation moments. I found these moments to be very helpful because they helped me manage the side-effects of stress. These moments have to work for your personality. What is relaxing for me might not be relaxing for you. I encourage you to make a list. Some items on my list are a manicure, bubble bath, and a long walk.

6. Seek professional help - I believe in seeing a Christian counselor during stressful times - as well as regular times in life. I find counseling effective in giving me the tools to fight and win this battle with stress. I always leave feeling better than I came in. I become aware of my power, not the lack of it. Come to think of it, that's what stress does to me: makes me aware of my lack of power. When I seek professional help, I become aware that I am a victor, not a victim.

What do you do when you are stressed my friend? Here is what I know for sure: you can win. You can overcome and you will rise stronger. God's for you, no doubt!