Stress is what we feel as a response to our continually changing environment and life events. Stress can affect us physical, mentally, spiritually and emotional. Stress can lead to positive or negative feelings. A positive type of stress, which is called eustress, can motivate us into taking positive action about a problem. Eustress can result in a deeper self-awareness. For example; someone decides to take extra training classes because they are not coping at work.
However, the type of stress that we commonly refer to as stress is distress. This is a negative type of stress that leads to negative emotions. This is the type of stress that this article is about. Distress can lead to many negative emotions which include: rage, irritability, comfort eating and depression. These negative emotions can also lead to health problems which include: headaches, upset stomach, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
We need to identify events causing our distress. We must also identify our stress triggers. Our stress triggers are what we tell ourselves about life events. It is our assumptions about what happened, that triggers our stress. For example, when someone does something that we perceive rude, do we say to ourselves; how dare you? Or I’m not going to dignify that with a reaction, I’m better than that. These two internal dialogues (stress triggers) would lead to different actions and reactions, from us. The first one would lead to distress, while the second one would lead to eustress.
We must identify the way our body responds to the stress. Do we become nervous, angry, or upset? If so, how specifically does this make us feel? When we have this new self-awareness, we can change our stress triggers by replacing them with internal dialogues that would lead to a eustress? These changes will develop into our new habitual reaction, if we do them daily. We can use goal setting and time management techniques, to redirect our focus into more important things, rather than wasting our energy on stress which weakens us. Devil uses idle hands.
We should take a break or change our environment, when we start to feel stressed out. For example; we could go for a walk. We could also learn some relaxation techniques. This helps to reduce our muscle tension. Having a fellowship with the Holy Spirit, reading God’s promises, and praying in tongues, will relax and refresh us spiritually, and help to beat our stress. We can also write down affirmations about being calm, and read it frequently, in order to trigger a calm feeling.
Most importantly, we must pray for the stress to be lifted supernaturally by God. This will lead to peace that surpasses all understanding. : Philippians 4:6-7 - “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ”
God does not want us stressed. Stress is a character altering condition. Stress induces irritability, which can make other people dislike us. It is hard to be around a stressed person. Stress will get in the way of walking in love. Stress is a work of flesh. Stress gets in the way of walking in Spirit: Galatians 6:8 – “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. ”
Even if stress is serious and needs medication, these guidelines should be used in addition to medical treatment prescribed.
20 Other Ways Of beating Distress:
- We must maintain a positive outlook on life. And not dwell on negative life experiences. We must make conscious efforts to focus on positive things. For example, when something traumatic like losing our job happens. We must look at it as opportunity to pray more, train more and land a better Job.
- We mustn’t think that we have to please everyone. Or that other people have to always please us. Unrealistic expectation can lead to stress.
- We must avoid unnecessary stressful situations.
- We must pursue goals that align God’s will. And not those ones that other people think we should pursue.
- We must focus on one important thing at a time. We must learn to be assertive: Matthew 5:37a - “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes, ’ and your ‘No, ’ ‘No. ”
- We must read Christian books and the bible. Reading spiritual books will refresh, restore and relax us. These help to conserve (protect from waste or destruction) our energy: 1 Thessalonians 4:11a - “that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, ”
- By using breathing exercises to slow down increased heart rate, caused by stress.
- We must avoid unnecessary conflicts with people. We must also resolve our inner conflict.
- We must see the funny side of life, and not take petty things too seriously.
- By eating balanced diets, and by avoiding alcohol, nicotine and caffeine; these are stimulants.
- Fitness and relaxation exercises.
- We must keep smiling and laughing, to trigger a joyful state of mind, even when nothing exciting has happened. The brain does not know that nothing exciting has happened. When we laugh, the brain is programmed to send happy signals to our mind.
- We must only think positive and Godly thoughts. The kingdom of God is within us: Proverbs 4:23 - “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. ”
- We may need to develop organizing and prioritizing skills. Chaos, crisis confusion and panicking will lead to stressful situations.
- By Practicing smiling within, and smiling with our eyes.
- By making joyful shout unto God: Psalm 100:1 - “Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!”
- By rejoicing as a service to God, and not just because something happened: Psalm 100:2 - “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. ”
- We don’t rejoice by just pretending to be happy. There are many ways we can take charge of our emotions. One way of achieving this, is by talking ourselves into a joyful state. We can also trigger a feeling of joy through dancing and praise and worship. Meditating on happy memories, holiday pictures, God’s promises and our good qualities (instead of the bad ones), are other ways we can purposely stir up a joyful state of mind: Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ”
- By joining online Christian communities, forums and blogs
- Through Christian short breaks and retreats, seminar, events, exhibition, workshops, revival and conferences.
Henrietta Elegunde is a Life Coach, Author and Motivational Speaker. She specializes in personal and emotional growth, and Christian based coaching. She is the author of the book “Hallowed Be Thy Name". This article is an excerpt from the book. For more information on her services and the book; she can be reached by e-mail: Jumie@onetel.com