Big Idea: We can’t always avoid stress, as it is a part of life. However, we can neutralize stress by implementing some positive life giving principles. This blog will focus on some practical and useful principles, which if employed, will help to manage stress.
A commonly accepted definition of stress is that it is something that is experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize. One example is a situation where an individual has more debt than financial resources; another example in the workplace is an individual that is not working in his or her area of gifting, so is having a difficult time completing a given project. Another illustration is an employee who is struggling with multiple stressors at the same time. For example, going through a divorce, struggling with financial debt, and having career struggles all at the same time. When stress happens, a physiological response to an internal or external stimulus happens that can trigger the fight or flight response.
Some people have great coping mechanisms and know how to manage the fight or flight response. Others have a difficult time and stress can result in depression, anxiety, time off from work and both physical and emotional illness.
Here are some practical ways to help you to manage the stressors that come into your life.
1. Know Who You Are – Understand your personal strengths and weaknesses as they relate to your goals and objectives, both personally and professionally.
Everyone has areas where they are great and not so great. If you know who you are, you will learn to take on things that fit your personality and gifting better, thereby reducing your level of stress.
2. Learn to Set Boundaries – Think of boundaries as an adjustable emotional fence; let the fence down when you want to take on more responsibility, and put the fence up when you need to set limits. Know your limits and stick to them as necessary in all aspects of life.
3. Practice effective time management- Assess the value of your time, understand how to use it effectively, and improve your patterns.
4. Balance work with rest, relaxation, family time and fun! In order words, learn to enjoy life. You can’t take any of it with you!
5. There is wisdom in applying a scriptural principle in managing stress. Surrender to a power greater than yourself. It comes from Matthew 6:25-27. It reads …Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life.