Christmas is just a week away and the time of year that is supposed to be filled with joy, excitement and anticipation is often filled with anxiety, sorrow, fatigue, depression and stress. We crowd our schedules, set unrealistic goals, fail to plan ahead and feel the pressure of being behind. Just when you think that you can’t take on one more thing, the unexpected happens – sickness puts a loved one in the hospital, a friend or family member dies, you have an accident or get a bad diagnosis.
Years ago, a friend handed me a little credit card size “Stress Control Card”. It has four colors on it black, red, green, and blue. There is a colored square on the bottom center of the card. Black represents “stressed”. Red represents “tense”. Green represents “normal” and blue represents “calm”. At any desired time you place your thumb on the colored square for the count of ten. When you take your thumb off, the card will measure your level of stress. It is amazingly accurate.
On the flip side of the card there are four techniques to help you relax.
- Tense your body for five seconds, then loosen and let your whole body relax.
- Take a deep breath and hold for eight to ten seconds. Breathe out and feel your body relax.
- Resume normal breathing and count slowly up to ten. One number for each breath getting looser with each breath.
- Picture yourself on a warm beach relaxing in the bright sunshine, feeling the warmth coming into your body.
The Bible also offers guidelines for stress relief.
- “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
- “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” (I Thess. 5:16-18)
- “Worship the Lord your God.” (Exodus 23:25)
- “Cast all your burden on the Lord” (Psalm 55:22)
- “Commit to the Lord whatever you do” (Proverbs 16:3)
Taking advantage of Bible Study and Worship opportunities will help you get your priorities in order, enable you to focus more on God and will strengthen your spiritual life. When God is a priority in our lives, stress decreases and peace increases.
In His Love,