Tips For Managing Stress

Recently I wrote this post about the increase in stress as our church continues to grow. Several responded via Twitter and Facebook that said things like “You don’t seem to get stressed about anything” or “I wish you would give us details”.

Well, first I need to explain that perception is not always reality.  People are surprised to hear I’m an introvert or to know that I still get nervous when I preach.  I am and I do.

Often it seems the demands placed on us exceed the strength, wisdom and resources we have to meet them.  Philippians 4:13 seems to indicate otherwise, (I can do all things through Him who strengthens me) but I still struggle at times to try to handle things on my own.

Getting to the place where we don’t allow stress to control us or keep us from being effective in life is a process.  I have found it improves some with age and maturity.  You come to realize some things just don’t matter. In some people’s case a lot has to do with personality.  My 20-year-old, a “P” on the Myers Briggs Temperament, rarely stresses about anything.  Most of us, however, need a little help dealing with stress.

As a teacher, and because I was asked repeatedly, I will share some tips I have found effective in battling stress.

  • Prayer.  God really does answer this request.
  • Time management.  Most times a good schedule will greatly diminish stress.
  • Exercise. This may be my best secret for battling stress. The more stressed I am the more I need to run.
  • Disciplined life.  There are activities and habits that add to stress.  If you stay up way too late and never get enough rest, your stress-factor will increase.
  • Balance. You have to learn to say “No” to some things and balance your time between all the things that pull for your attention.
  • Not allowing problems to build long without addressing them.  If a relationship is causing stress, the sooner you deal with it the quicker you will find relief.
  • Asking for help.  When I am really at my wits-end with stress, I am not too proud to tell someone.

What tips do you have for people to lower their stress?  What do you do to handle stress?

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7 thoughts on “Tips For Managing Stress

  1. Check your expectations of yourself and others. Sometimes we create our own stress by how we think about our situation. I have found an older, more experienced mentor with a balcony seat on my life to be a great help in this area.

    When the stress is coming because I am attempting a new project with spiritual advance in mind for the kingdom (organizing a retreat, embarking on a building project) often a day or two of fasting and putting prayer first on the agenda of group meetings will clear the air.

  2. Not just a little prayer sometimes but sometimes a lot of prayer. A wise women once told me that the sometimes the most Godly thing we can do is to get some sleep. I have found that when I am not getting enough sleep thing are more intense. The last timeg that sometimes is the only things to help with my stress lsevel is to cry. I have even been known to go and watch a movie that makes me cry just so I can do this and maybe feel better. There are times when the stress is from others problems or something you can do nothing about that these don’t seem to help. These can only be brough to God to allow Him to take care of. Just some of my tips.