How to Overcome Stress

 

Over 70% of Americans report that they struggle with stress.  Stress is widespread but few have found healthy ways to deal with it.  

What are the symptoms of stress?

According to the American Institute of Stress, the symptoms of stress include mind racing, heart racing, inability to sleep, fatigue, anger, mood swings, depression and more. Symptoms can be physical and psychological.  

What are the top causes of stress?

Stress can be triggered by many things, but some of the major causes of stress are: death of a loved one, divorce, moving, major illness, and job loss.  Additionally, stress can be caused by work, relationships, finances, health, and media overload.  

We know what stress looks like and where it comes from.   But how do we overcome it?  

Four Strategies to Overcome Stress:

1. Admit there’s a problem. 

You can’t address a problem you’re unwilling to admit.  Psalm 32:2 says, “Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” (NLT)

If you deal with chronic stress, admit it to someone – a trusted friend, a counselor, a spiritual leader – and then admit it to the Lord.  This is the first step in breaking the hold that it has over your life.  

2.  Stop medicating in the wrong ways.  

A cigarette makes the smoker feel calm because it speeds up their heart rate while simultaneously telling their brain they are calming down.  So many of us use “cigarette-style” solutions to deal with our stress.  The solution tells our mind we feel better while destroying some other part of us.  It could be an unhealthy relationship, alcohol, drugs, scrolling social media, eating unhealthy foods. At the time, they seem like solutions, but they only medicate the stress instead of healing it.  

God wants you to bring your stress to Him.  Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (ESV).   Once we cry out to the Lord, we give him permission to save us.  Prayer invites God into our stress and asks him to guide us to safety.  

3. Take care of yourself.  

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “ So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  Our bodies are a portable church – they’re the dwelling place for the spirit of Christ.  It honors God when we take care of the bodies he has given us.  Regulating stress is one way to take care of our body.  Getting regular exercise, enough sleep, and eating in a way that energizes us and fuels us for the day is essential to taking care of your portable church.  

4.  Seek God and declare His word.  

Psalm 94:19 says “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul” (ESV).  We are not just physical beings having physical experiences – we are spiritual beings having spiritual experiences.  Don’t neglect the spiritual side of your life.  You are meant for a relationship with God, and only through that relationship can you find freedom from stress. 

Connecting with a Bible-believing church can help you navigate the stressors of life – we’d love to meet you at V1 Church!

 

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