Stress is one of the most annoying parts about life and I’m sure that everyone reading this has experienced it more than once in their lifetime. It’s a mind set that is extremely easy to get lost in, but a bit more on the difficult side when you are trying to get out of it.
Stressing out about situations in life whether it be external or internal is easy. Pointing out the less favorable things in life is easy. When I begin to feel stressed, I could effortlessly rehearse the situation and make myself believe that it’s never going to change. One of the most annoying parts about stress is when a bunch of situations come all at once; something that normally wouldn’t bother you in the slightest, when paired with a bunch of other small things, can make you feel like the whole world is against you.
I’m definitely not an expert in dealing with the stresses that life brings, but I think we all have little pieces of advice that we could offer to each other that can help us get through the not-so-fun parts of life.
I get lost in my head a lot; when some annoying event happens in my life, my automatic response is to rehearse my current condition over and over again. I start to analyze what happened, what will (but probably won’t) happen, and what everything means. Typically most of my thoughts turn negative and instead of moving on with my day, I allow this one (or consecutive events) to alter how I go about the rest of my day.
After I’ve decided my initial response is probably not the best solution, I try and reverse its effects by rehearsing true facts instead of the ones I have made up. I do this by putting things into perspective and assuring myself that the situation is probably not as bad as I am making it out to be. I remind myself that everything will be okay, and declare all of the promises and encouraging words of God. I typically blast worship music and write what I’m feeling down so I can pinpoint all of the negative thoughts I need to counter. I tell myself that eventually, I will be okay; having a bad moment does not equate to having a bad life.
This next part is something that I’m having to work on a lot, which is telling people how I feel. I’m sure I’ve said this in other blog posts, but I am not a huge fan of showing my weaknesses and sharing my feelings is not something I am typically comfortable with. But I’ve come to the conclusion that not sharing how I feel would be worse for me than maintaining a facade of never having issues. I’ve found that as soon as I share what’s going on in my life with someone else, they usually express that they have been feeling the same way, or that they have felt the same way before. Instead of feeling like I have to tough it out by myself, I now have a person I can go to for encouragement and remind me that I’m not in it alone and that things, with time, will get better. Sharing my feelings with others has a dual effect because it also keeps me from secluding myself in my room and being upset that no one notices I’m hurt. You don’t have to do life alone! And if you don’t have people that you can talk to, get plugged in at your church, or school, or job, or wherever else you meet people.
One of the most encouraging things for me to think about is that in Christ, we already have victory. Every situation we step into, we have authority over. I remember my Dad saying that the trouble isn’t in us trying to win, because through Jesus, we already have victory; the real challenge is sticking it out in the process. We have been given peace, joy, and a sound mind, but getting to a point where we can truly accept these gifts and declare them over our lives may take a minute. In times of stress, I am aware that God is greater than the situation and that I can still be at peace, but it tends to be harder to convince myself of such. This is where trust comes in to play. I have to make the decision to trust that even though I am not feeling 100, that God is working things out. Even when it seems like God is doing nothing, He’s doing something.
“Listen to the truth I speak to you: If someone says to this mountain with great faith and having no doubt, ‘Mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the midst of the sea,’ and believes that what he says will happen, it will be done.” – Mark 11:23