What’s causing your stress and what is the BIGGEST stress factor in your life? It’s the questions I ask myself when I am feeling anxious or not sitting in a place of peace and rest.
To know how to deal with your stress it helps to define what’s the source of it in the first place and to take time to examine your thoughts and heart.
Some common stress factors are:
Anxiety – which often stems from feeling out of control in an area of our life. Instead of getting anxious we can seek to determine the things we can control and to hand over the rest to Jesus. He cares for us and doesn’t expect us to handle life all by ourselves.
Fear – of what might happen, often stemming from what is happening in the world around us or regarding our family members, job, finances, health etc. Fear is something which God knew we would struggle with if we didn’t keep our eyes fixed firmly on him, which is no doubt why He said, “Fear not” over 365 times in the bible…once for every day of the year.
Expectations – I like to take the “should” out of my vocabulary and other’s speech towards me. Instead I just seek to do and be who God says, rather than let myself stumble under expectations.
Trying to do too much – We are usually far more capable of handling life than we give ourselves credit for, but there are areas in all of us where growth is needed to be able to increase our capacity and manage stress levels better. God wants to help us grow and develop, and if we step with him then our responsibilities, desires and busy schedules will be growth zones rather than stress triggers. Follow God’s lead and you will lift off your limits and any unhealthy stress.
Family issues – Relationships, and especially family ones can be a major factor in our stress. I’ve learnt that putting in place healthy boundaries and learning to say “No” helps limit stress. Time out and taking time to prosper my soul also helps as we have far more to draw from and give to others when our soul and spirit have been refreshed and edified.
Not looking after ourselves. Getting adequate sleep, exercise and eating well are so important to combating stress. When we aren’t sensible with the basics unwanted stress appears, and we also put ourselves at risk of such things as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety.
A no win situation – Stress can become worse when we feel we don’t have a solution to a problem. Ill health, financial problems, relationship issues, economic collapse etc… All these things can make us feel like we have no way out. But God will always make a way, and I’ve found that when I let go and allow God to take control then He works everything out for my good. It may not seem like it in the middle of the trial, but He is so faithful and will turn things around if we just keep walking with Him.
Today what is causing your stress? Take some time to sit with God and search your thoughts and heart. God promises that He will be with you and never leave or forsake you. Reach out to Him and He will hold and support you all the way, replacing your stress with His peace and rest.
Jesus said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” (Matthew 11:28-30 TPT)
“God you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in time of trouble – more than enough and always available whenever I need you. So we will never fear even if every structure of support were to crumble away. We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes, moving mountains and casting them into the sea. For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode our faith in you.” (Psalm 46:1-3 TPT)
Prayer: Lord thank you for your goodness and care of me. I give over the things that I am worrying and stressing about today and trust you to take care of and work everything out for my good. Please help me to do that today. In Jesus name Amen.