7 HABITS THAT REDUCE STRESS
We live in a broken world, and we are broken / incomplete people. So, life will be stressful. Somedays or seasons of life will be more stressful than others.
What is stress?
Stress on the body happens when our blood pressure goes up, our pulse quickens, the adrenalin kicks in, and we go into problem-solving mode.
Chronic stress is the state of always being stressed, and one study suggests that 33% of Americans experience chronic stress.
What is causing you stress?
Here are a few causes of stress:
- Worry – we worry about the stuff we own, the stuff we don’t own, and the people in our life
- Hurry – “I want it now.”
- Crowds – Think “feeding of the 5000”. Groups can be fun until their not.
- Multiple choice – Having options is a good thing. However, when there is a time factor and the pressure of people around you, multiple choice can be a stressful experience (going to dinner at a large restaurant with an extensive menu, and the waiter is waiting to take your order).
- Loss of privacy – the feeling of being watched or having my ID stolen
- Pluralism – everybody has an opinion about something; what if I say the wrong thing and offend somebody (politically, parenting, education, marriage, gun control, birthing, essential oils, work, medical and vaccines, lifestyle, pronouns, etc.,)
- The Future – what if…
Stress is all around us, and we are taking in a steady diet of stress every day. Here are seven habits that will help manage the stress in your life.
HABIT 1: LOOK TO GOD
Psalm 23:1 (NIV)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
Romans 8:32 (NASB)
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things
God is my provider, and I chose to live by faith that HE will supply all my needs. Trusting God to provide is a step of faith, AND it has always worked out.
HABIT 2: REST
Psalm 23:2a (NASB)
He makes me lie down in green pastures…
Exodus 34:21 (NASB)
“You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.
God wants us to rest so much that He made rest one of the ten commandments.
HABIT 3: RECHARGE
Psalm 23:2-3 (NASB)
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul…
Our soul is always searching, always hungry for MORE. But God says when you go to the green pasture and the quiet waters, I (God) will restore your soul. I think this is why I enjoy Mt Biking and hiking so much. Or, during my workday, I walk down to the river to think and pray. God uses His beautiful creation to restore our souls.
HABIT 4: GET GUIDANCE FROM GOD
Psalm 23:3 (NASB)
… He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
James 1:5 (NASB)
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously…
When we take our stressful decisions to God (and other Godly people), we gain insight into the decisions we have to make. God guides us on His path when we seek Him and humble ourselves.
HABIT 5: WHEN IN DOUBT, KEEP TRUSTING GOD
Psalm 23:4 (NASB)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You might be going through the valley of the shadow of death (with a sickness), debt, family conflict, depression, or discouragement.
Please remember, GOD IS WITH YOU. God is more significant than your shadow because shadows are nothing to Him.
HABIT 6: LET GOD DEFEND YOU
Psalm 23:5 (NASB)
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Conflict will come in our professional life and our personal life. It might be a quarrel with a cousin or a criticism from a co-worker. We might feel attacked or oppressed. How will you handle these conflicts?
James 4:1 (NASB)
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war on your members?
James 4:6-7 (NASB)
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God.
God tells us to be humble in handling our conflicts and quarrels.
HABIT 7: REALIZE GOD IS A FINISHER
Psalm 23:6 (NASB)
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
You might be nervous about the future. God is not worried. He has a plan, and He always keeps his word.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Learn from Me, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Jesus wants you to trust Him with the journey.
Go to Jesus, give Him your stress, learn from Him, rest in Him, and walk with Him in the journey ahead.