Jul 31, 2007

5 Steps to Relieve Overwhelming Stress

Have you ever felt that incredible weight of the world on your shoulders, spinning out of hand? I’m here to show you ways to relieve that overwhelming feeling of stress that just sends you reeling into the pit of doom.

1. Step back and find the humor.

Today I was visiting with a friend, after several months of missing her. I mentioned that my son was out of control these days, and we talked about how we’d both threatened our sons with not making their next birthday if they didn’t settle down. Neither of us would do anything to hurt our sons, and they know that. But suddenly we both felt the humor in our empty threats. Their behavior seemed less extreme and we knew we’d be able to get through the next moment because we were laughing at the last moments.

2. Go ahead and cry your heart out.

Tears are cleansing. Allow your tears to wipe clean the heavy burdens you’ve carried. Accept that part of life as what it is and move past the stressor to a new step. Sometimes we forget the blessing of rain upon dry land. When the storms come, the land may be barren, but as sure as the raindrops fall, there’s life beneath the surface.

3. Focus on the tasks at hand.

Sometimes we focus so much on the issues that we forget our work to be done right now. When we let go of the issues and stressors; we give them to God so we can turn our focus back to what has to be done right now. Living in the moment often reduces our stress. When we can’t change the past, and the future is just out of reach, we can stay focused on the moment and life becomes simpler.

4. Stay the course.

When stress dumps on us, we’re often tempted to make radical changes in our lives, adding more stress onto the heap of changes that we have to deal with at that moment. But we don’t have to react to stress with more stress. If we choose in that moment of time to simply stay the course, do what has to be done to deal with whatever issues we’re faced with and keep our course the same, the results are two fold. We remove additional stressors. And we give ourselves time to get past one stressful time before we must stress again.

5. Chuck the stress.

You know you want to chuck it. So, for the moment, do just exactly that. Chuck all the stress and go for a walk, take the kids for ice cream, get a manicure, give yourself a pedicure, but do something that totally distracts you long enough to clear your mind and focus on the issue. There are times when this isn’t a realistic suggestion, but other times, this is the only solution that even remotely is feasible. Look it over, if nobody is bleeding, nobody is dying, chuck the stress for some instant gratification and then go back and face your lions with a fresh face.

Are you living with incredible stress and want to find an exit?

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