Answers to Your Questions: Stress Reducers for Christians
Q: I’m under pressure at work and pressure at home, pressure to succeed, pressure to provide for my family, and pressure to be a good parent and spouse—pressure from every side. So often I just don’t know how to cope! What can I do?
A: Stress is becoming an almost inescapable part of modern life—almost, because there are things one can do to avoid getting under undue stress or living in a state of constant stress. While some of the following tips apply to everyone—getting sufficient exercise or eating the right kinds of foods, for example—others on this list can give Christians a special edge because they bring Jesus into the equation in a very real and personal way.
Jesus is the Christian’s counselor, coach, business manager, intercessor, executive secretary, personal trainer, confidant, and best friend. In short, He is everything the Christian needs to contend with the stress that has become part of modern living and to come through a winner!
Tips for Stress Reduction
- Thank God for what’s coming, because He won’t send you anything that you and He can’t handle together.
- Eat right.
- Be kind to unkind people. (They probably need it the most.)
- Develop a forgiving attitude. (Most people are doing the best they can.)
- Every night before bed, think of at least one thing you’re grateful for that came out of your day.
- Get enough exercise.
- Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
- Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.
- Don’t take on new work until you have taken care of timely matters that are still pending.
- Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a hearty “Thank You, Jesus!”
- Slow down.
- Keep a folder of favorite Scriptures or inspirational readings on hand.
- Use the time while driving or riding in your car to listen to Bible-based CDs or MP3s that can help improve your quality of life.
- Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.
- Carry God’s Word with you to read while waiting or during spare moments.
- Have backups—an extra car key in your wallet; an extra house key buried in the garden; extra batteries for your flashlight, cell phone, etc.; back up your computer files.
- Live within your budget; don’t buy things on credit if you don’t have to.
- Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a valid concern, find out what God would have you do about it. If you’re worried about something that you can’t or shouldn’t do anything about, then put it in His hands.
- Get organized so everything has its place.
- Concentrate on things you have direct control over—yourself and your habits—rather than on things that you have little or no control over.
- Take one day at a time.
- Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time, when possible; don’t lump the hard things all together.
- Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
- Simplify and declutter your life.
- Delegate tasks to others who are capable.
- Say no to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
- Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
- Go to bed on time; get enough sleep.
- Pray. Make quiet time with Jesus a daily habit.
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