It's no secret that we all get stressed. I don't believe that any of us are meant to live a stress-free life. In fact, I think in many cases that stressors are a sign that big things are happening. With that being said, I have dealt and will continue to deal with my fair share of stress in my life. As a mom of three children, one of whom has a life threatening auto-immune disease, stress is going to happen in my life. What happens when it does occur is how I am able to control the situation and stay positive. Here are my top tips on staying positive when stressed.
1. I submerge myself in the word.
Anytime I begin to feel the stresses of life get to me, I immediately open my Bible and read my favorite verses that help me when it comes to stress and anxiety.
"The Lord is my strength and shield, I trust him with all my heart. He helps me and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
2. I exercise. I exercise HARDER than normal. I do this because everyone and their mother knows that exercise releases endorphins and "endorphins make you happy."- Elle Woods. But I also like to exercise harder than normal when I am stressed because working out is an actual physical stress reliever. If you are carrying stress in your life, your body feels it. Exercise helps relieve the tension from that stress and literally makes you feel "lighter" in a way after doing so.
3. I listen to uplifting music. You all know how much I love listening to contemporary Christian music these days. It fills my cup. It is encouraging, moving, uplifting, and just everything I need when I need it the most. If you haven't tried this method of stress relief, I highly recommend it. Also, just listening to uplifting music in general has a tendency to create a positive atmosphere in your home, car, during your workout, etc.
4. I talk to someone. Have a healthy conversation about why you are stressed and how you can deal with it. There is a reason why we "vent" when we are stressed out about something. It makes us feel better when we get it off our chests, than it does when we bottle up our emotions.
5. I make a "Stressed vs Blessed" list (like a pros vs cons list) and actually write it down so I can visually see it. Doing this helps me see that the "stressors" in my life don't even remotely compare to all of the blessings that I have. If you are someone who has trouble actually thinking of reasons to be happy and positive when you are stressed, this method is highly recommended for you.
6. I unplug. The truth is, social media can cause a lot of stress. And it shouldn't. It should never be so important that my health and well being is affected. So when I find myself stressed out and not sure where the actual stressor is coming from, I choose to unplug for a day or two, or even a week. It is refreshing and it allows you to really connect with others around you far more than usual and also allows to to truly hone in on what is stressing you out. I think unplugging from social media is a MUST for everyone when they are dealing with stress and need to take a minute to breathe and recoup. Don't get so caught up with your virtual life, that you forget to live your real one.
It is my prayer that this post fills someone else's cup today, or at the very least whoever reads that needs it knows that they are not alone and stress, in all forms, is manageable.