July 1, 2018

Looking Beyond Stress: Examples and Tips

 “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.”—Psalm 94:19 (KJV)

Thanks so very much for taking the time to read! I value your support!

In my last article, I wrote about keeping joy and love alive. It’s possible even when our situation is far from ideal. How can that be? There are so many stressors out there, it’s ridiculous. We can receive negative input from online sources, from our social circles, and in our homes.

I use the word input, rather than “thoughts”, because it implies a lack of control. “Input” relates to electronic gadgets, which have no power over what is programmed into them.

We are living human beings, not inanimate objects. We should be able to take charge of what goes into our minds.

Bad things happen; there’s no doubt about it. Reality may say the world is falling apart. The truth might paint a dismal picture of our own corner of the world.

We have the right and ability to push down feelings of dread and anxiety. Here are some ideas:

Trust God (King David)

“I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.”—Psalm 31:6-7 (KJV)

The widely acknowledged writer of the Book of Psalms can teach us about trusting God. He was dealing with many setbacks:
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Powerful enemies conspiring to kill him, including King Saul
  • Broken friendships
  • A son who was working against him (See 2 Samuel 18:33)

David wasn’t blocked by his troubles—or by unbelief. He called the Lord his rock, fortress, and refuge in Psalm 31.

Other Solutions for Stress

My wonderful friend, Carol Graham, wrote an empowering article giving solutions for stress. Here is the list of her tips:
  • Move/Be active in some way
  • Breathe deeply
  • Self-massage
  • Write
  • Listen to music

I can vouch for the usefulness of Carol’s suggestions. Let me share other ideas I use to break negative thought cycles:

Laughter releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones. If we read or watch something funny, it can feel like a mini-vacation. It doesn’t matter if the merriment lasts two minutes, or two hours. The healing power of laughter, physically and mentally, is well documented.

Hobbies can often distract us as effectively as laughter. They also give us a sense of accomplishment.  We become more skilled musicians, artists, gamers, and so forth.

My Conclusion

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”—John 14:27 (KJV)

Peace in the storm is available. When negativity knocks on the door of our mind, we don’t have to answer.

Are you filtering out unproductive thoughts?

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