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    Taking Care Of Yourself During Stress

    God loves you so much, and He wants you to live a long strong healthy life (Zoe, in John 10:10)! Here are practical, simple, quick ways that can help de-stress your life and bring you relief:

    Praise Him! The first thing is to just go, “Jesus, I praise you I praise you I praise you!” Even if you have to do it with gritted teeth, it will help you be more conscious of the LORD, Who is your Help and Shield. Especially in intense emotional battles (within yourself, or with others), this sacrifice of praise is doing something in the spirit, and in your soul. 

    Thank Him! Make a list of all the things you can think of that the LORD has done for you. You will definitely run out of time! But you can add to the list daily, or as you can, and then do what my husband and I do: read some of them out loud once a year, on special occasions, or just any time you need to remind yourself of the goodness and faithfulness of God!  

    We approach the LORD with thanksgiving (Psalm 100), and He, like the rest of humanity (for Jesus is still an anointed Man, although resurrected and ascended!) loves to be thanked!

    Look at and listen to the Word of God. Even one Scripture that you read and write and speak over and over can work great healing and restoration in your life! The Word is alive, praise Him! Sometimes, even excellent preaching and teaching and praise and worship can seem irritating to your soul, when it’s under attack. Sometimes, you do need to just turn it all off and seek silence! You’re not always going to feel like it’s working for you but it always works (Isaiah 55:10-12)!

    Organize your living and workspace. Put on high-energy (or, slow and peaceful) praise and worship music while you work, or listen to the Word to help promote your energy to do this, while your spirit is soaking up the Word. You may feel overwhelmed at the task, but the more you put it off, the more you will feel stressed–and guilty–about it. (Ask me how I know!)

    Get rid of things that make you feel bad–old journals where you wrote out your pain; negative letters or reports (even records of debt, etc., if you can–after holding them up to the LORD and calling them PAID, in JESUS’ name!); clothing that, when you wear it, makes you feel poor or ugly or something, especially ill-fitting clothing, no matter how fancy. (If you just feel like it’s not fitting right and you keep fooling with it, then wash it and pass it on! I had to do that with several items through the years. This can be more than just psychological; it can be spiritual!) 

    Drink as much water as possible. This is so easy, and we’re usually taking clean water for granted. Often, when we are stressed, our bodies often want caffeine and sugar and carbohydrates and such, and there’s nothing wrong with any of that in the right measure; especially if you balance the sugar with protein–as I’ve discovered your body needs to do. 

    Even if you don’t drink alcohol, you may drink juice or something with a lot of sugar, and this can cause your body to start craving water.  Your body needs water for your brain, and drinking good water (preferably, filtered after it comes out of the tap, or spring water in glass) will actually help get rid of headaches and help relax your body, and nourish and cleanse your body. Drinking good water is especially important when you are stressed.

    See also: 15 Healthy ways to reduce stress

    Taking vitamin C is going on another quick easy thing you can do. There are 1000 milligram tablets that are very very economical. Purchasing these at the health food store is a good idea because they have brands that are much more bioavailable (easily broken down for your body to utilize). The cheaper ones with the hard coatings usually pass through your system, and you get no benefit and waste your money. You can take 2-3 of these a day, and your body will flush out everything it doesn’t need. 

    Sit down, even for five minutes! A nap is best of course, but just sitting, especially if you can go outside and get in the sun, is going to help relax you. There is a reason that employers are required by law to make their employees take breaks!

    You could go into a relaxed mode even in 10 minutes, sitting in a chair. I’ve sometimes gone to my car on the lunch hour and just leaned back and snoozed a bit while setting the alarm on my cell phone. While working at the house, especially since I usually stand and tutor and write, I’ve learned I need to just go sit on the couch for even five minutes, to give my body a break. Sometimes, I go sit in the sun, with even the preaching and worship music off. I look at the trees and the squirrels and the birds and the clouds, and it is a rest, a de-stressing act!

    Laugh on purpose! Although I’ve read some about the fact that our brains cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy, recently, Dr. Laura Willis introduced me to the term “gelotology,” which means “laughing on purpose.” I immediately tried it. It works! As the Word says, “A merry heart does a person good, like a medicine! (Proverbs 14:3017:22)

    There is much proof that many people, even some with terminal diseases, have been healed, by laughing and laughing and laughing!

    (After decades, the LORD has done mighty works and delivered me from anger and sadness and bitterness and junk, and I am joyful and laugh easily most of the time. Praise Him! However, when I laugh on purpose now, the laughter soon just rises up naturally, and it’s great!  Ask the Lord to help you, if you need Him to help you laugh on purpose. You don’t have to feel happy, just start laughing, in Jesus’ name!)

    Apologize to the LORD and ask forgiveness, of Him and others, if you feel you have sinned against Him or another. Ask Him for grace to not judge, and to “take the emotion out of it” and just apologize to whomever, or forgive them out loud to Him and confess your negative emotions, and ask Him to bless them. 

    It’s almost always the thoughts of the enemy, who accuses us and others to us, that stirs up the negative emotions, and when we tell satan to shut up in Jesus’ name, and then start praising the LORD, this brings triumph and can help de-stress us. We are reminded of our position of victory! 

    See also: A radical approach to forgiveness that works

    Remind yourself out loud that you are not competing with anyone! You are created by God (Genesis 1:26-28) as a unique expression of His love and creativity, and so, if you are feeling pressure (which is never from God!), you can command peace to your soul, by asking Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to minister peace to you. Also, you can speak Scripture, and ask the LORD to hide you in the secret place (Psalm 91) with Him, and comfort you. He will!

    Tell the LORD you love Him and know that He loves you! This is a statement that can help you start feeling better, because God is Love (I John 4:8), and His love for you–manifested in Jesus, Who died for you on the cross to pay for all your sin (John 3:15-17), and Who rose again to give you a super-abundant life (John 10:10Ephesians 3:20)–will grow stronger in your heart and soul as you speak it out!

    Any or all of these can help you destress and get the victory. 

    I’m sure there are more ways. Ask the LORD to know more, and He will! 

    So now, as Colossians 3:15 states, may we all, “Let peace rule in our hearts, and be thankful.” 

    Tonja K. Taylor is a joyful, free worshiper, teacher, author, wife, and mother who adores helping others know the sweet faithfulness of God. Through her YouTube channel, “River Rain Creative Arts” and other platforms, she tutors globally in faith, worship, writing, holistic health, & ESL

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