Jesus never condemned mankind for taking time to relax
Twenty first century living can be stressful to say the least. Regrettably, very few seem to escape the difficulty and challenges of life. Over the years I’ve come to believe that a great key to surviving stress is not merely escaping it, but rather managing it.
For me, managing stress is the learned skill of stress reduction and dissipation. In order to survive the turbulence of this generation we must become intentional about combating stress and work at perfecting the art.
“So how do I go about it?” you’re asking. Here are a few pointers that have worked for me over the years. Run them through your grid and see what you think.
1. Understand the seriousness of ignoring personal stress.
Stress and its side effects has now become a menacing dilemma for most people living in the U.S. Doctors now believe that stress contributes significantly to many of our modern diseases.
It is estimated that almost half of all doctor visits are stress related and anxiety reduction may now very well be the largest single business in the Western world!
Consequently, developing an awareness of the effects of stress, and how to deal with it is imperative.
See Phil. 4:6-8
2. Learn to recognize the signs of personal stress and what to do about it.
To the unaware and uniformed, stress can be a silent killer. Although its symptoms are varied for each individual, they are very real and carry a potential hazard if ignored or overlooked.
Here are just a few of the common symptoms related with stress.
- A constant feeling of being drained (emotionally and physically)
- An overwhelming feeling of frustration regarding certain situations or life in general
- Small decisions become major issues.
- Physical symptoms include; chronic fatigue, high blood pressure and unexplainable headaches.
- A marked loss of appreciation for people.
Stress management expert, Dr. Terry Lyles, says that stress can be easily overcome when one learns to recognize the symptoms and takes appropriate actions to defuse them.
3. Learn to schedule regular relaxation into your life.
Not surprisingly, relaxation is unnatural for many. Preconditioned mindsets and unrelenting pressure to succeed often produces a drive in us that doesn’t equate well with relaxation.
However, scripture reveals that Jesus never condemned mankind for taking time to relax. As a matter of fact Jesus himself always seemed to be fresh and relaxed, almost as if He was on a vacation. Not a bad way to live, huh?
In order to model Jesus, I believe that relaxation must become a disciplined practice in our lives. Planned and practiced if you will. It’s really as simple as allowing your self the freedom to have a little get-away; whether it’s geographically or simply a frame of mind.
Have you scheduled some relaxation time lately? (See Mark 6:30-32)
So what is it that’s stressing you out today? Is it people, situations, unrealistic expectations? Stress is triggered by different circumstances in every individual; nevertheless it’s a real threat that we all must learn to manage.
Don’t let the holidays get you down. Practice these three easy steps (don’t just think about them) and you will be on your way to de-stressing whatever comes your way.
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