Wild horse

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Stress can be a teacher. 16 years ago, I learned I couldn't play around with stress. I made a radical decision to change my lifestyle so the effects of stress wouldn't affect my health. Thank God, my blood pressure has been under control all these years. Even during 3 high-risk pregnancies. 

I can honestly say that I was afraid of stress. It was such an unknown thing in life. I couldn't tame it. I knew I needed to grab ahold of it though it felt like a wild horse. 

In the midst of my search, I heard a preacher say that stress wasn't going away. I needed to learn to manage it. I turned to my real life and kept looking for solutions. I was introduced to stress management tools. Suddenly, the wild horse turned into a manageable pet. 

How did the switch happen?

• It took time • stress management is not a quick fix. It took a while for my mind and body to get in line. While some health changes take place immediately, others take time. It is a steady plotting situation. You plant seeds daily and wait for the harvest to come. 

• I took a plan of action • good intentions did not fix my problem. Neither did inspiration. I needed a plan of action. At first, the plan was to take my medicine and change my fast-food diet into a heart-healthy diet. I became focused on adding 5-6 servings of veggies and fruits daily to my plate. I became focused on making exercise my friend and not my foe. My plan worked. Again, it wasn't fast or immediate. I can honestly say that each year when I go get a medical check-up, seeing good numbers really makes my decision to implement that plan a wise one. 

• It took listening • I listened to God, who created me and loves me. I always thought that the maker of the universe and everything that's within it can and should tell me how to live a healthy life. I also listen to my doctors. Whatever they tell me to do, I basically do. I find their sound advice to work wonders. I also learned to listen to my body. My body tells me when it is stressed out. My body tells me when it is tired. I can't ignore these signs. I have to listen and do what's best.

It took creativity • every body is different. I decided not to follow a formula for stress management. I decided to creatively do what works for me. If you say (or type) the word "stress" the same solution comes up. This common solution does not work for me. These solutions go against my Christian conviction. While I respect people and their desire to help, I need to be creative when it comes to my own journey. I decided to listen to God and gather an array of solutions that honor God and work for me. Each time I find one, I add it to my personal list. I'm challenging you not to comform to what's prescribed out there. You can be creative and find what works for you. 

I believe that the most challenging question we can ask is to offer our stress management solutions to God and ask Him: "do these honor You?" 

Maturity comes when we hear and obey God. Trust in God is always accompanied by peace. 

These days, stress is still part of my life. I no longer see it as a wild horse. When it shows up, I often say: "oh, I see you there." Then I wonder why is around again. My next step is to call on God for help. Then I use the multiple tools He gave me. 

My last step is to learn. I believe that I should grow as I continue to manage stress. If I don't grow, I will never know how I can improve. If I grow, I can also help others. 

Tell me, how are you doing in your stress management journey?