7 General Suggestions for Handling Stress

The world is stressful. It is not getting any easier. There seems to be little relief in sight. If anything, life seems more stressful today than even a few years ago. It may be getting worse…not better.

I’ve written about the subject previously, but it keeps coming up in discussion, so here we go again.

What should we do? How do we handle the stress of daily living?

Here are 7 general suggestions:

Have a greater purpose than today – If it’s all about your current situation, when times are good you’ll be good, but when times are bad… You have to live with a greater purpose. What’s beyond today? Where are you headed? What’s the future look like for you? Do you have a plan beyond the stress of today? It will help free your mind from stress when you can lift your focus from today. (By the way…mine is an eternal purpose!)

Be a giver – People who cling tightly to what they have stress when they have less or what they have feels in jeopardy. Stinginess leads to discontentment. Giving frees you to joy.

Direct your thought life – It is a discipline to think of the glass as half full. Stress often comes through what consumes our mind. Garbage in…garbage out. In times of extreme stress, we have to pull from a predetermined and preconditioned ability to look to the bright side.

Stay as physically healthy as possible – Exercise and eating healthy are always good ideas, but it becomes monumentally important during stressful times of life. We tend to do the opposite. We skip our workouts and grab junk to eat. In the process, we starve our bodies of energy and our brains of needed nutrition.

Forgive easily – The lack of forgiveness injures you more than the person who injured you. Holding a grudge leads to bitterness. Bitterness leads to store up destructive emotions. That’s a recipe for stress. Pile on the normal stress of life and you’re going to be one stressed out person. Let go. Forgive. Move forward in freedom. You’ll stress less.

Ground yourself in truth – You need some roots in something that will sustain you during times of stress. God’s word is my foundation. I read it everyday. I memorize it. I sometimes write a verse down so I can see it during the week. Here’s a good verse: “He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.” (Philippians 1:6) Or, “When I am afraid I will trust in You, in God whose word I praise.” (Psalm 56:3-4)

Celebrate often – Take time to laugh. Decompress. Unwind. Choose the bright side of life. It is there even on the worst days. Sometimes I get up from my desk, put my headphones in my phone, crank up a fast worship song…and dance. It breaks the hold stress has on me at the time. Also, surround yourself with positive people when you can. Find a community of hope. That’s what church does for me.

As I said, these are broad suggestions. Tomorrow I’ll share some specific suggestions for handling stress

What’s your remedy for stress?

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8 thoughts on “7 General Suggestions for Handling Stress

  1. Perfect timing for me too! Stressing about someone from my past spreading untrue rumours about me. There isn’t much I can do about it…so I stress instead. I’m going to print this out to keep handy as a reminder! Thank you

  2. This is awesome…I've been battling stress and anxiety for much of 2012.So much so that I get severe indigestion and irregular heartbeat. While I do pray and often do not trust. This is a great and helpful article.

  3. Wow. This could not have come at a better time! Over 50 pages of doctorate-level papers to write this week and tons of projects (after I just had shoulder surgery). My mental breakdown last night has been put in the past by your post today. THANK YOU! What a blessing God's timing is!

  4. If I have unaddressed fear, I get stressed. I've had to realize fear isn't a fruit of my circumstances, it's the root. Fear keeps me from giving God room to work. The space between what I can do and what God has called me to do…that space can be very stressful if it's filled with fear of failing. But a fear of God's word being true (for example the passage you quoted above) that kind of fear leaves no room for stress.