Queen in Gold
My family has one of those kettles that make a really loud shrieking noise when the water is boiled. At this point someone usually has to run up to the kettle to switch it off. Sometimes when I’m in too much of a hurry I have to press the “off” button a number of times before I actually press it. The trick is to remain calm in spite of the loud noise screeching in your ears.
So while trying to switch off the kettle earlier today, I thought of how some official person would always say “Please remain calm...” in the case of an emergency. Ironically, most people don’t. How can we remain calm in emergencies if we aren’t even calm in our day to day lives?
The point of this article is to talk about getting all stressed out – what causes it, why it’s bad for you and how to deal with it in a healthy, biblical way. How do you remain calm even if the kettle is screaming in your ears?
I’m no expert on stress; these are just the things I’ve noticed in my own life. Maybe you can relate?
What causes stress:
Here’s my top three:
1. A busy schedule
There’s nothing that stresses me out like that feeling of not being able to do everything I need to. And even when I manage to do it all – it freaks me out if I have to jam-pack my life so much that I don’t have time to take a breath.
2. The future
Something that really let's me stress is the unknown future. The scariest part is having to make decisions which affect this future I know nothing about.
3. Relationship tension
Honestly this could be tension in any relationship; friends, family, colleagues and even with someone random person at the grocery store.
Perhaps the things you stress about are different than mine; but the effect of stress is the same.
Why stress is bad for you:
Stress does’t simply make you a little bit more emotional, it actually affects all areas of your life.
Stress is bad for your heart, your breathing and even your memory and learning ability (wonder where stressing about exams will get you...). It causes acne, headaches, loss of energy and indescribable weight gain or loss. It makes you more vulnerable to get sick and is really bad for fertility in the long run. This list can still go on, but I think you get the point.
If you didn’t know stress affects your emotions, I don’t even know why you’re reading this article! Stress usually makes us moody, irritable and generally unhappy.
How to deal with stress the biblical way:
These are some of the things I do (or try to) when I’m stressed out.
If you read last week’s article “Finding hope beyond hopelessness” you’ll remember that Liezl shared how she spoke to God about all her frustrations and how that brought her relief. Open your heart to God and speak about what is stressing you out.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” - Philippians 4:6
But don’t stop there. Prayer is a two way conversation. After you shared your frustrations, ask Him to reveal His truth to you and then make His truth your own.
3. Let go
Stop trying to be in control and surrender to God. There’s no use in stressing about things that are not in your hands.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
5. Plan ahead
This is really practical, but keeping track of everything you need to do helps with time-management and prioritizing. Not leaving everything for the last minute really relieves stress on the long run.
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” -Proverbs 21:5
6. Invest in yourself
You are allowed to make time for yourself – in fact it’s something you should do! Make time to exercise, eat healthy, sleep, read a book, take a bubble bath and sit at the feet of your Saviour. Make time for rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” - Matt 11:28-29
At this point I would also recommend you go read my article “4 Keys to being present”. Stress often causes us to miss the here and now of our lives.
How do you do it?
I would love to hear about how you deal with stress. Do you have any practical tips you can share? Please leave it in a comment below.
Let me leave you with one last thought:
“He says; Be still, and know that I am God”
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About the blog
Queen in Gold is a blog for the feminine heart. I hope to inspire other women to stand up in their God-given identity.
My name is Riani.
I love flowers, board games, arty markets, food, dancing, music and spring....