Vienna Seventh-day Adventist Church

God's 7-Step Plan for Relieving Stress

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God's 7-Step Plan for Relieving Stress
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1.    Obtain adequate rest & sleep.

2.    Get proper nourishment: food & drink (water to hydrate the body, specifically muscles)

3.    Exercise – to help maintain health. Sickness is a great source of stress. Exercise also creates and releases endorphins in our body, which boost mood and relieve pain.

4.    Seek God at a quiet time and place. We can use prayer and reading the word of God as our way of seeking God and communing with Him. These are like “brain food”, and they will fortify us against life’s stresses. Keep a list of Bible promises and refer to them when you feel stressed.

5.    Get away for a while, either via some “alone time” during the day, a weekend away, an outing into nature, a trip to a country/rural area, etc. Nature rejuvenates us. The word “recreation” means re-creation. The weekly sabbath is an opportunity for corporate worship, fellowship with believers, and also some time to be alone with God and His word. A weekly sabbath is part of our needed rest.  God gave this to us as a gift. Note that “down time” actually makes us MORE efficient when we are working. This is really hard for most people to understand.

6.    Help others; focus on other’s needs occasionally. Jesus focused on doing good and meeting people’s needs for food, healing, comfort, and more. Community service and voluntary service to others can bring us rewards even in this life. It can help relieve our own stress, help us connect with God, witness for God, feel better about our relationship with God, experience joy, and put our stress in perspective. We can use God’s power within us, the talents he has given us, and the resources he has given us to benefit others. Doing good benefits both giver and receiver.

7.    Socialize with other Christians. Jesus found comfort in spending time with Mary, Martha & Lazarus, and time with the 12.

The above 7 methods are summarized into one word: BALANCE! Physical, mental, spiritual & social balance will keep us in the best condition to handle stress, just like maintaining a balanced stance will make us more resistant to falling if we receive the slightest push). Keeping God at the center of our life helps us change our perspective, our attitude, and our ideas when we face life’s stresses. It helps fortify us to deal positively with stress that comes our way. This is a God-centered approach to dealing with stressful circumstances.

 

 

 

 

More hints on how to manage stress, from health experts:

  • Don't worry about things you can't control, such as the weather. Plan for these things, but don’t stress about them.
  • Leave early, allow extra time for appointments and events, and purposefully leave gaps in your daily schedule.
  • Don’t rush, especially unimportant things. Think of the worst thing that can happen if you don’t rush. (e.g. missing a train and catching the next one) Rushing becomes a habit and can raise your blood pressure.
  • Solve the little problems. This can help you gain a feeling of control.
  • Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful, such as a job interview or a test.
  • Try to look at change as a positive challenge, not as a threat.
  • Work on resolving conflicts with other people.
  • Talk with a trusted friend, family member or counselor.
  • Set realistic goals at home and at work. Avoid over scheduling.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Eat regular, well-balanced meals and get enough sleep.
  • Participate in something you don't find stressful, like sports, social events or hobbies (such as music).
  • Practice saying “no”. If you don’t want to say no, tell the person you’ll think it over and get back to them. (e.g. “Let me think about it and get back to you.”)
  • Know your limits.
  • Don’t get all wound up by other people. Smile and remain calm no matter their mood.
  • Prioritize your life.
  • Keep the serenity prayer in mind. Accept what you can’t change.

Note: sometimes life’s stresses may appear overwhelming to a person and they may need to seek medical attention after having tried other remedies. This should be rare. But in some cases a person may need medical help to get beyond the effects of their personal stress. Continue with God’s plan, and also seek medical help, preferably from a good Christian doctor.