So you got up, listened to Christian music, did your quiet time and was reminded:
My peace I leave you (John 14:27).
Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Be contented with your circumstances because God will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
Maybe you even had time for some exercise. You were ready to face whatever came your way…but the coup de gras of all catastrophes hit bringing conflict from coworkers and throwing your schedule and everything about your day into disarray.
Why didn’t it work? All those things you did to start your day?
Why is it that no matter the steps you take in the morning, something or someone can just simply make your day crazy?
It is called life.
Keep doing what you are doing to start your day. The music, the quiet time, the exercise. That routine is keeping you healthy and believe it or not, stable, if not sane. But, it will not prevent stress from interrupting your life. And, though those activities will give you peace and calm in the moment and provide an overall positive effect on your blood pressure and provide other physical, spiritual, and emotional benefits, that morning routine is not guaranteed to eliminate the acute catastrophes that life throws your way.
Try these bigger picture steps to help you cope :
By this I mean your whole life purpose. And actually write it down.
My life purpose is this: “I will not die but live and proclaim what God has done.” Everything I do, everything that happens to me, every decision I make is filtered through that purpose. When something happens that throws me into a tizzy, I evaluate how it fits into my live and proclaim life purpose. Does it help it along? Hinder it? Neither?
Jesus is our best example of someone who identified His life purpose and never deviated. His purpose was to do the will of the Father by ushering in the Kingdom of God through His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. NOTHING hindered it. Not His family. Not the disciples. Not the religious leaders. He was willing to die for it.
Identify your life purpose and write it down. Then when your day is stressed think about the circumstance in light of your purpose.
- Separate what you are feeling from what you are thinking (differentiate emotion from belief). Although your emotions are valid, you DO NOT want to base your day and your decisions on your emotions, you DO want to make decisions and responses based on your beliefs.
Are you feeling mad, sad, happy, disappointed or do you think this is a bad plan and you have a better one? If you are feeling an emotion, take the time to deal appropriately with it. If you have a belief, walk through it productively. Taking the time to differentiate your emotions and your thoughts/beliefs relieves stress. It helps you work on you.
God gives us ears to hear. To put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and listen to the situation from their perspective because they are a person also created in His image.
- Give yourself permission to take time to respond.
This somewhat cycles back to emotion and belief. Be careful to take your time to respond and do so in a loving way … articulate your emotion or belief with clarity. Simply ask for some time even if it is a matter of seconds or minutes.
- Believe in your own authority.
If you are in charge of the situation, feel comfortable with your authority.
- Be teachable.
God has given you two eyes to see and two ears to hear and only one mouth to speak. Use these gifts to be open and teachable.
Life is full of stress. That is part of the beauty and excitement of it! Enjoy becoming the best stress buster you can be.