Are you constantly in a state of stress? Do the pressures of life seem to be getting to you? Everyone has to deal with concerns—both personal and professional—but if you are becoming consumed by yours, it is essential that you address the problem.

Often when people experience high stress levels, it is because they are fretting needlessly. To minimize the needless tensions in your life and consequently reduce your stress levels, try applying these five suggestions...
1. Leave the past in the past.

You may have regrets regarding your past, but nothing you can do can change it. The decisions already made cannot be erased, the words already said cannot be taken back, and the actions already taken cannot be revoked. You cannot change the past, no matter how much you wish you could or how stressed out you become about it.

You can, however, effect changes in the present. You can make new decisions that counteract poor decisions you previously made. You can attempt to make reparation for harmful words you have said. You can take action to atone for past misdeeds. Rather than allowing your regrets about the past bind you, do what you can to rectify your mistakes and accept what you cannot change.

2. Avoid worrying about an imaginary future.

Worrying about false realities paralyzes far too many people. In other words, they use their imaginations to create problems that do not really exist. By worrying about all the things that might possibly go wrong and becoming preoccupied with those worries, they effectively render themselves powerless.

At the same time, recognize the difference between worrying about the future and preparing for the future. It is certainly important to evaluate potential problems and take all reasonable precautions. When constructing a building in a region prone to earthquakes, for example, a contractor must take measures to ensure the building can withstand the shaking. Likewise, a person is wise to save and invest in order to maintain a satisfactory standard of living in the retirement years.

Prepare for your future, but do not become obsessed with worry about it. Instead, give your attention to actual concerns that you can address today. This is consistent with the advice of Jesus to let tomorrow worry about itself: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34, KJV)

3. Recognize the things you cannot change.

There are things that are beyond your control. You may not like to hear it, but it's true. While a great many things in life depend on your decisions, words, and actions, there are many more that you can do absolutely nothing to affect. That being the case, why worry about those things? "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" (Matthew 6:27, KJV)

The Serenity Prayer expresses this thought well: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

4. Identify what really merits your concern.

Even when considering the things that you can control, very little warrants becoming stressed. Often, people worry about the smallest of details even when they are meaningless in the grand scope of things.

In other words, don't sweat the small stuff. Most things are simply not worth it. Blowing minor things out of proportion will present no solutions. Instead, it will cause your stress levels to skyrocket and may contribute toward a plethora of physical and mental health problems.

5. Lean into your faith.

A genuine faith in God enables you to let go of your worries and concerns, trusting that God is ultimately in control. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7, KJV)

When your world seems to be in uproar, remember that He cares for you and can provide you with a firm foundation. As I point out in Women Under Construction, "even during the storms of life, The Master Architect can and will perfect His plans."

Yes, stress is a part of life. However, that does not mean you have to fall victim to exorbitant amounts of it. Instead, you can experience freedom from the constant barrage by eliminating needless stresses and trusting God with what remains.

 


Comments

Grace Blevins
12/26/2011 10:17pm

Well said. You certainly know the Bible well, and how to share it in a clear and understandable way.

Reply
Barry
12/28/2011 8:07pm

I've learned that surrendering to the Lord's will, although difficult for a proud person like myself, does make life easier.

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Sylvia
12/30/2011 1:31pm

Thank you for this blog regarding replacing stress; it was just what the doctor ordered.

Be Blessed

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Tuyet
01/02/2012 8:36pm

Let go and let God! He can handle it :)

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Cindi
01/06/2012 9:06pm

#4 is the most important one of all for me. I used to be famous for being busy but not accomplishing much at the end of the day. Thankfully, with daily meditation and prayer, I'm recognizing what's truly important in my life and addressing those matters first.

Reply
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