Feeling Stressed? 7 Habits that Reduce Stress

How do you deal with the stress in your life (Because I know you have some)?  What is causing your stress? People, Problems?  Unresolved Conflict?  Whatever you might be deal with here are seven habits that you can start doing that will help you deal with the stress in your life.  Listen to the media file below and follow along with the outline.

From Stressed To Blessed

 

What’s stressing us today?

Worry – we worry about too much stuff, because we have too much…

Hurry – Our life is fast paced.  We want things now or yesterday.

Crowds – The world is getting more crowded.  Life used to be rural, now it’s urban.  1800 London was the only city with a million people.  Today, over 500 cities have over a million.  83% of Americans live in a big city.  We will spend 4 Billion hours waiting in traffic using 6 bill Gal. of Gas.

Multiple Choice – We have more than ever before, and it’s stressful.  I love panera Bread… First time walking in, Stressful (long line, have to make up my mind – Bakery, sandwich, salad, soup, combine, then drink)  All while there’s a long line of people (who know what they want, wait behind me).

Loss of Privacy – People know our information, people are watching us.

Pluralism – We work with, live with people who have completely different views about life than we do (religion, education, values, parenting, lifestyle, convictions).  It’s stressful visiting extended family because of their views, working with that co-worker who thinks differently about politics or marriage, The cities are bigger but the world is smaller.

Fear of the Future – What if… Thursday waking up wondering if we got attacked… Looking at the news through the day…

“Peace of mind makes the body healthy.”  Proverbs 14:30 (TEV)

“A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life.”  Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

7 Spiritual Habits That Reduce Stress:

Habit 1: Look To God To Meet All My Needs

Psalm 23:1 (NIV)

 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want 

Romans 8:32 (NASB)
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things

Habit 2: I Need To Rest (OBEDIENCE)

Psalm 23:2a (NASB)
He makes me lie down in green pastures…

 

Exodus 34:21 (NASB)
“You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.

 

How do we rest?

  1. Rest my body – physically relax.
  2. Refocus our spirit – worship
  3. Recharge our emotions – Recreation   Exercise, reading, hobby, sport…

Everyone needs a Sabbath…

Habit 3: Recharge My Soul With Beauty

Psalm 23:2-3 (NASB)
  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul…

 

 

To recharge your soul:

  1. Get outside – walk, go to a park or garden, backyard, think
  2. Start your day with no media – 7 min. for God…
  3. Put Beauty around you – colorful rocks, flowers, art, thing that inspire…

To deal with the stress in life: Look to God in everything, Take time to Rest and Surround yourself with Beauty.

Habit 4: Go To God For Guidance

Psalm 23:3 (NASB)
… He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

A major cause of stress in indecision; God can help us make up our mind… 

 How do I do this?  “God, I need Wisdom.”

James 1:5 (NASB)
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously…

Habit 5: Trust God In The Dark Valleys

Psalm 23:4 (NASB)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Some of Us are going through the valley right now:

  • The valley of the shadow of death
  • The valley of the shadow of debt
  • The valley of the shadow of conflict
  • The valley of the shadow of depression
  • The valley of the shadow of discouragement

Shadows are scary… Shadows are always bigger than the source… kids

Shadows cannot hurt… Wherever there is a shadow there is lights.

If I focus on the shadow I will have doubts and fears and stress

If I focus on the light I will have confidence.

Jesus is the Light… Set Your Eyes on Jesus!

Habit 6: Let God Be My Defender

Psalm 23:5 (NASB)
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

Another source of Stress:  Conflict, criticism, attacks, opposition

If you are experiencing conflict, criticism, attacks, or opposition, then try some humility… 

James 4:1 (NASB)
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

 James 4:6-7 (NASB)
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God.

 We are most like Christ when we are silent in opposition…

 

 

Habit 7: Expect God To Finish What He Starts

Psalm 23:6 (NASB)
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Are you afraid of the future?

  • What if…
  • What if this went wrong?
  • What if that went wrong?
  • What if something went bad?
  • What if our plan fails?
  • What if, if, if…

A shepherd has 2 sheep dogs following him (keeping flock in line).

Call the Dogs:  Goodness and Love

When we have the good shepherd leading us we have His dogs following us.

We can worry about not having enough money, or things going wrong.

Or we can look to our savior:

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Those are the options:  Worry & What if’s or Trust in Jesus

How do you lower your stress? 

You live with the expectation that God will finish what He started!

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Learn from Me, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Jesus uses three key verbs:

Come, Take & Learn.

  • Come to Me
  • Take My Yoke or Team up with me
  • Learn how I do it.

One Last Thought…

When I’m “Yoked” with Christ, we move together in the same DIRECTION and the same SPEED.

 

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