Learning to Manage Stress
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”1
A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.
"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.”
Unfortunately, stress is everywhere. It is our responsibility, however, to do what we can to lessen the stress factors in our life wherever possible. To do this the following tips can help.
Write down all your cares and worries. Put them in order of priority and eliminate those that aren’t important.
1. Know what your limit is and limit yourself to what
you can handle.
2. With stress comes pent-up feelings. Learn how
to express these creatively and get them off
3. Accept the fact that some things can’t be changed.
4. Limit major life changes to as few as possible
in any one year.
5. Resolve all resentments immediately.
6. Make time for rest and relaxation ... get
7. Watch your diet and eating habits.
8. Maintain a regular physical exercise program.
9. Ultimately, however, we need to learn to trust our
life to God in all circumstances.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to accept the fact that I am neither superman nor superwoman and limit myself to what I can do and do well. And help me to 'change the things I can change and accept (with grace and patience) the things I cannot change’ and trust my life to You in all circumstances. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.