Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to Stop and Smell the Roses

Recently, I received an interesting e-mail from a friend and let’s just say there is a reason she sent it to me. It’s a list of ways to reduce stress and I am guilty of not doing nearly all of the stress relievers on it. I don’t feel stressed, but I do keep a fairly tight schedule between work, hobbies and family.

I’m a go-getter type of personality—not able to stay still long. I’m used to my busy life, yet I do think there is time to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak. The most unique thing about the list is that it offers 36 ways for Christians to reduce stress. No wonder these items hit home. God doesn’t want us to worry. 
An English Rose in London
Matthew 6:24-27 addresses this exact subject. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Below are 36 items to compare with your life to see if you have unnecessary stress (and let’s face it…we all do.). We may need to make some adjustments. I plan on taking many of these to heart.

The first one is quite fitting to be the top of the list: pray. Go to bed on time. / Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed. / Say “No” to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health. Delegate tasks to capable others. / Simplify and unclutter your life. / Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

Allow extra time to do things and to get to places. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together. / Take one day at a time. / Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.

Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc. / K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut) – This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble. / Do something for the kid in you everyday. / Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

Get enough rest. / Eat right. / Get organized so everything has its place. / Listen to a CD while driving that can help improve your quality of life. / Write down thoughts and inspirations. / Every day, find time to be alone. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud.

 Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray. / Make friends with Godly people. / Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand. / Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good “Thank you Jesus.” Laugh. / Laugh some more! / Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all. / Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can). / Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most). / Sit on your ego. / Talk less; listen more.

Slow down. / Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe. / Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.

Do you have other methods to destress? Please share.

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