In the past two blog posts we took a look at not only what causes stress but also how we react to it. Queen Esther and Martha exhibited different reactions to the stress in their lives and we can learn much from their examples. Some other helpful Scriptures that we can meditate on are found in 1 Peter 5:7 where it says that God wants us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us, and in Philippians 4:6-7 He wants us not to be anxious but to make our requests known to Him so we can receive His perfect peace. In John 14:27, He extends to us the kind of peace that the world cannot offer and He tells us not be troubled and afraid.
The following list gives some practical ways to cope with the stress that enters our lives:
- Be yourself – don’t pretend to be someone you are not.
- Choose your friends wisely – don’t hang around people who will influence you negatively or put you down.
- Stay on top of the decisions in your life – don’t procrastinate.
- Face up to your fears – find out what they are and try to deal with them.
- Set aside some time to be alone – take a walk or go to a quiet place.
- Reach out and help others – gets your mind off of your worries.
- Be flexible – things don’t always have to go your way.
- Work on a positive self-image – build up your strengths, don’t focus on your weaknesses.
- Keep your spiritual life in tune – confess your sin (1 John 1:9)
- Take one day at a time.
- Balance your life with work, leisure, exercise, spiritual input, time to think.
- Be realistic about life.
- Slow down your pace of living – learn to say “No”.
- Own up to your responsibilities – avoid giving excuses.
- Communicate with those around you.