Coping With Stress And Anxiety

QUESTION: Coping with stress and anxiety - How can I let go?

ANSWER:

Are you feeling "boxed in" coping with stress and anxiety of daily life? Perhaps your self image is out of control or not based in reality. Maybe it's time you found your own personal way to focus and relax. Read on for suggestions on finding relaxation and focus in your hectic life.
  • Schedule a Time Out - A few minutes set aside for just you gives you time to step out of the situation long enough to regain perspective. One time out I like is stepping into a warm tub of water, sliding down into the water and letting the soothing comfort of a bubble bath "take me away" from the stressful situation.

  • Give Yourself an Attitude Check - Take a few minutes to ask yourself, "Am I approaching life with a positive 'I can' attitude or with an attitude of negativism and defeat?" Taking an attitude check is as important to my mind as taking my pulse is to my body.

  • Search for Hot Buttons - Hot Buttons are places in your life that stir up anxiety and seem to contribute to the stress in your life. Be on the lookout for the things that make you angry or frustrated immediately. These are your Hot Buttons. Once you find them, you can work through them by finding pressure points, the next item in our letting go checklist.

  • Look for Revelation in Circumstances - Realize that the circumstances of life don't make you who you are; they reveal who you are. Ask yourself the tough question, "What about me is being revealed by my action/reaction to the circumstances in my life?" Be aware that the same destructive stress patterns in one person's life can be motivation to overcome difficult circumstances in the life of another person. Personal attitude could be the difference between a stressful situation and a learning one.

  • Do a Control Check-Up - Take a look at who or what you trying to gain control over, and then remember this very basic truth: the only person you can have control over is yourself. I often try to gain control over circumstances and suddenly realize that the situation is a more difficult than I am able to handle. These moments become Aha! Moments: the moment you realize God may actually have the circumstances there for a reason. Are you working against God? If so, that will always be really stressful. Relieve anxiety by learning that He allows circumstances in your life for a reason. When you are able to do this, your stress will lessen considerably (Romans 8:28-29).

    Have you identified the areas you need to work on? Good! After you know what they are, you can develop ways to overcome them, one by one. This includes identifying productive ways to cope with stress and trying to learn to incorporate them into your behavior. Here is a list of ways to cope with stress and anxiety that I can recommend from personal experience:

  • Identify Your Unique Coping Mechanisms - Before you cope, you need to find ways that fit your personality and lifestyle. Recognize that some ways of coping -- such as by escaping the situation or running away from your problems -- are destructive in the long run. The only way to effectively coping with stress and anxiety is to face the causes of this stress.

  • Change Your Focus - Get your mind off of the stress by changing your perspective on a given situation. Or go somewhere to change your surroundings.

  • Make your own "God Box" - I have an old mayonnaise jar that I use for my God Box. A God Box is simply an object to remind yourself to give things over to God and not to try to handle them by yourself. You can even write your stressful situation on a slip of paper and put it inside of the box/jar. Sometimes, I need to be reminded that God doesn't need me to do His job. Try to remember not to take responsibility for the things that only He can do. I have to find a proper balance: I do my part and God does His. This takes care of a lot of my self-induced stress and anxiety overload.

  • Feed Your Soul - Everyone has their very own Soul Food. Some of Soul Foods are music, the beauty of nature, inspiring stories, special relationships, a quiet place in the woods, or warmth from a gently lapping fire in the fireplace. God placed in each of us a desire for a unique something that touches and feeds our soul and draws us closer to Him so that we may regain our balance. You may need to take a vacation or getaway to regroup, dream, and allow God to refill the cup of your soul. If you remember to take a faith step toward God, be still (Psalm 46:10) and let God's presence surround you, you will really begin to relax and focus. My communication to God becomes a plea for His help. I pray "God help me to commit my stress and anxiety to You. Help me to be able to trust You to handle it. And please God, help me to accept Your way in my life."

  • Seek Comfort from God's Word - Meditating on the Bible brings peace, comfort, and joy as you let God wipe your tears and calm your spirit. Here are some verses I use that especially help me: 2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 34:18-19, 62:5-8, 103:2-5; Philippians 4: 12-13; John 16:33.

    In His Word, we learn that God may have allowed the stress into our lives to help us come closer to Him (Romans 8:28-29). This fact in itself can be comforting. You must decide whether you are able to be comforted or not. You can choose to let go of the stress and let God handle it, or you can choose to hold on and take the chance of letting the stress build up in you until it is unmanageable. Just knowing that I do have a choice helps me cope and let go of the stress and anxiety in my life.
Learn More About Coping With Stress and Anxiety!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus

I still have questions