6 ways to manage your stress

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Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my hand. – Isaiah 41:10

Life is incredibly overwhelming at times. Several years ago, we listed our house and were planning to move. We were quite surprised at how quickly our house sold. We made plans to make a major move. We found a new place and everything began to come together. The buyers of our home had prequalified for financing.  Then, the day before the money exchanged hands, there was a problem with their financing and the deal fell through. We had movers booked, a new place in another city and now our house was not sold.

We didn’t know what to do. So many things were already in play. Should we trust God and move forward or try to reverse the entire process? We decided to carry on. The next weeks were incredibly stressful. The house finally did sell but for lower than it should have. We did not have finances to carry two homes and decided we needed to cut our losses. I remember the stress and anxiety I felt. The symptoms were showing themselves in a physical way. I felt so stressed at times and I wondered why I felt that way when I had deep trust in God and we had been so sure of His direction. I knew He would care for me and yet, I couldn’t see how things would all work out. Over the next few weeks and months, things managed to work themselves out. It was not easy, but God was faithful through it. We were very aware of His provision and faithfulness.  I realized that as I trusted God even when I could not see the way through, my physical symptoms began to subside.  From that point on, I began to pay close attention to my stress level.  I used these indicators as warning signs and then took necessary steps to manage them.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?

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Ways to cope when the anxiety and stress become consuming

  1. Identify the areas that are causing you stress. Stress can feel so overwhelming that you may not even know where it is coming from. Take a few minutes and write out the key areas in your life that feel the most intense and stressful for you. It often is more than one thing.
  2. Think about ways that you can manage your situation. Can you schedule things differently? Are you able to delegate some responsibilities? Sometimes, when we are under great stress, we focus on something very minor and become poor planners. This can only serve to magnify the stress we are facing.
  3. If you are showing signs of physical symptoms of stress, see your doctor.
  4. If you are feeling overwhelmed emotionally, see a psychologist. Therapists help people navigate through difficult issues and offer tools to manage stress and anxiety levels.
  5. Don’t walk alone. Immerse yourself in prayer and scripture:
    1. Spend daily time in the Bible.
    2. Sign up for and read devotionals that are inspiring for you.
    3. Release your anxieties. Write out the things that concern you and then pray through each one and give it to God.
    4. Keep a journal and write out your prayers and the answers.
    5. Watch God increase the answers to your prayers by asking the Holy Spirit what to specifically pray for. Write those things down and then ask others to join you in praying for them. It’s amazing what He will do!
  6. Keep your heart filled with thankfulness. This is immensely challenging and difficult, but you will notice a complete change in your stress level as you thank God for the pain and difficulty you are going through. He intimately knows how difficult this is and He will use this in your life to strengthen you and help you make the most of this stressful and difficult time in your life

Stress symptoms by Mayo Clinic.  Anxiety symptoms by Web MD

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