Burden. Overload. Stress. Do these words describe the way you feel about life?
If so, I want you to know you’re not alone. And with God’s help, you can change your outlook and overcome your situation.
The truth is, although we may not be able to choose what happens in the environment around us, we can choose how we respond to it.
Stress can be very subtle. Little things can slowly add up and eventually wear us down. Something that was once manageable can slowly become a burden. Even good things can get out of balance and lead to anxiety or burn out.
I want to share with you five practical ways you can begin to stress less...
1. Say something positive.
If you constantly feel overwhelmed or under stress and you can’t pinpoint the exact reason, begin to speak out God’s Word and say what He says.
When things get difficult, it’s easy to talk about how bad things are. Instead, I encourage you to begin declaring God’s promises over your life. Say things like:
I am more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37)
God will provide for my every need! (Matthew 6:26)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)
2. Fine-tune your budget.
If your finances are a source of constant stress in your life, decide to start a budget (or reevaluate your current budget).
Ask yourself, “What is something practical I can do to solve the problem?” Maybe you can cut an expense that is a luxury but not a necessity. Or you can look for a new way to make some additional money.
I encourage you to ask someone who is good with finances to take a look at your budget and give you some suggestions.
3. Love creatively.
Is there someone who is driving up your stress levels by constantly hurting your feelings? If so, try something out of the ordinary...
Do something nice for them! Send them a kind note, buy them lunch, tell them something you appreciate about them, or begin praying for them on a regular basis.
By doing these little things you are taking steps of faith and obeying God’s command to love your enemies.
4. Upgrade your energy level.
If a nagging health problem is leaving you feeling stressed out and run down, start an exercise routine. Decide that you’re not going to make any more excuses!
Set aside time each day to get the exercise and care your body desperately needs. Rather than making excuses, make a plan…and stick to it.
You may think that you simply don’t have the energy to exercise. Maybe you feel too bad, or you’re too tired. But I often find when I go ahead and begin to exercise, I start to feel better. Exercise takes energy, but it gives you back more energy than it takes!
5. Get out of your rut.
If the demands of work are overwhelming and causing you to feel overloaded, do something about it. Delegate some tasks, reevaluate your systems or talk to your boss.
Your boss may not even realize how much you are doing or how it is negatively affecting your personal life.
Instead of complaining how overworked you are, look for ways to be more efficient and how to make the most of your time each day.
These are just a few examples, but as you can see, there are so many ways you can step out in faith in order to live the life Jesus died to give you.
God is going to do His part, but He wants you to do your part, too. You may not have all the answers and you may not get it right every time, but if you’ll determine to take a step, God is going to meet you along the way.
Remember, you don’t have to live a life burdened with stress and frustration. Instead, you can live a happy, peaceful, overcoming life. It’s just a matter of what steps you are going to take. The choice is yours!