I attended a class on stress and the ways of increasing personal effectiveness and how to live a happier life. Mr. Miller brought up some very interesting points that I had never thought of, and which have consequently sunk deep in my soul; and maybe this will resonate with you. When you have stress, what causes it? What do you do to get relief? What is the Savior’s way?
Are you going through some difficulties that have you harried? Are there events in your life that may be a bit of a challenge for whatever reason, and have you unsettled or agitated? Is your family a trial of sorts that cause apprehension and worry? I hope to pass on a few of the ideas I took away from the class, as well as much of my own, that I can share, which I hope will help us know how to:
- Reduce our work load to accomplish more
- Feel more joy
- Have peace in our heart
- Calm in our soul
- Feel God’s presence so we can hear His voice
- It shouldn’t surprise any of us that 90% of people polled say they feel stress. We have so many options and ways to keep us busy; that’s a given to feel tension.
What is our natural reaction to being stressed and having too much on our plate? Why, it’s to run faster of course!
Let’s tweak a scripture to be what many of us are doing in our life: John 14:27 My stress I leave with you, my rush and busyness I give unto you. Let your heart be worried and anxious.
Wouldn’t that be the most awful thing ever!?!? If I read my scriptures and Christ said that to me, I would have no hope for direction, for a way for peace, joy and help! I’d hide under the covers and not want to come out!
“Absolutely nothing in scriptural records allows us to imagine Jesus as a sad, gloomy, fatigued, depressed and overburdened person. It is equally impossible to picture Jesus with his robes flying as he rushes thither and yon, helter-skelter, trying to accomplish twenty things at once. Although we see many who look disheveled as they rush through their daily agendas, such was NOT the strong, calm, and steady example set by the Man from Galilee.” (Mr. Miller quoted Mr. Pace from a leadership seminar on following Chris’s example to leadership)
John 14:27 (King James Version) correctly reads: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. So how do we do as our Savior has directed us to do? He wants us to have His PEACE. NOT to have a troubled nor fearful heart. Let’s begin by looking at what we usually do. We allow stress to:
- Affect our relationships
- Affect our sleep – reduce and upset our sleep
- Affect our relationships
- Cause us to be irritable or angry
- Unable to think clearly or stay on task
- Not keep priorities straight and in proper order
- Make us feel anxious or even depressed
- Not take care of our health and well-being
We need to use a bit of care when we address stress. It isn’t always a bad thing. It can be a motivator and encourage us to perform. It is making sure we do not get used to, or need stress as an everyday, every minute stimulus, because it is not healthy and does not allow the Spirit to work in us when that is our constant state.
First off, to decrease stress do we HOPE it will go away?
Hope is NOT a Strategy!
It takes a plan to decrees stress. I will address three in this post:
1- We MUST set boundaries
2- I’ll Chose NOT to _____
3- I will only spend this much:_____ time on ______
We MUST set boundaries We only have so much time in a day and that is all = 24 hours – no more, no less.
To protect our health we MUST set aside 9 (+) hours to sleep. ONE to get ready, settle down, get things in order and EIGHT to sleep, or MORE depending on the person.
This is so difficult, but to have the Spirit with us, regular sleep (yes, occasional late nights happen, but should not be the rule) truly makes a huge impact on our spiritual health.
Our body is a temple and as such needs to be taken care of, and this is a critical area. I read that the hours of sleep BEFORE midnight have double the beneficial effect on the body as those after midnight.
And that the old adage ‘early to bed, early to rise’ really is the healthiest for a body. This is one of the most difficult areas I struggle with. I definitely try to burn the candle from both ends and because of it, I do not function as well as I could. The nights I do follow this counsel, I can’t believe how much more productive, better equipped to emotionally deal with people and situations, and clear headed I am. Do you battle the sleep demon too? Thinking ‘just one more__ then I’ll go to bed’ and before you know it, it’s late. Is this an issue you can work on too? If so, join me in saying NO, it’s time for BED!!!
I’ll chose NOT to ___________ It’s ok to say I CANNOT this time, but possibly another; so ask me again please.
I think I struggle with this as much as anyone of you might also. I don’t want to disappoint, or put someone else out, or not ‘do my part’. But then I take on too much and bite off more than I can chew usually, which then I cause myself more stress. Whether it’s well intended or not, it’s still something added to my schedule that really did not need to be there – and I could have, and should have said no.
How about you? Do you ever do this? Is this an area that you can work on too?
I will spend THIS ______much time on _____ Oh, this is hard, whether it’s scrolling through Facebook, watching another episode of a tv show (making the hour later and depriving sleep), spending too much time on a project or hobbies, which we find then hinder other areas that need our attention.
I think this is a topic we ALL find our-self wasting vast amounts of useless time in some way or another. It is so important to relax, HOWEVER, wasting is not relaxing. I am going to calendar and see where my time is going and how I honestly – HONESTLY spend it.
By seeing where I spend my time, I can reduce my stress by figuring out where I am wisely using time, where I am sensibly consuming relaxing time, and where I am throwing time way in ways that are actually adding stress to my life. Are you with me?
Let’s see how we can stop running to and fro like crazy people, and become more able to accomplish all we are here to do, while more fully having Christ’s PEACE and JOY.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
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