To curtail stress, we have to learn how to manage our stressors. When we are in the midst of overwhelming stress that just feels like one more job we can’t or don’t want to face. We just want the stressors, whatever they are, to go away. The sad truth is the things that stress us out are not likely to just go away. We have to put forth some effort to make that happen in a healthy manner.
So what can we do about them? We can manage how we respond to them. Before long instead of stress managing us we can manage our stress. We can take back our power. We have freely given into stressors of all kinds and when we do this, we give them the power over our lives.
When I look back over my own life, I see how I allowed any problem I had to consume me and when we do that, we immediately give the problem the power over us. In order to stop obsessing over the problem, then I’d try to forget about it by indulging in comfort foods. If I could forget about my problems then they couldn’t overwhelm me and stress me out. And of course the problem doesn’t go away. It’s still there and the additional pounds being added to my body adds physical stress along with the emotional and mental stress I already have.
Combine this with the fact that that for most of my life I would overthink any problem. As a matter of I think I just think too much. Some people are verbal processors, but I am an internal processor. It becomes exhausting because many times this means I am constantly dwelling on the negative aspects or the problem points of any issue. I physically wore my brain out thinking of all the possible scenarios to solve a problem or make an issue go away.
I call this living from our minds. I used to think this was what God expected of me. I mean He gave me a brain so He must want me to use it to figure out the solutions to everyone’s problems. But the longer I live the more I understand that He gave me a mind so that I can submit it to Him because He actually does have the solution to every problem. Instead I want to jump in and fix it.
Here’s what happens when I overthink an issue. I keep repeating the scenario over and over in my head. I picture a thousand different ways the problem could be solved. If I said this and then they said that, then maybe it would go this way.
Then I talk myself out of that and do something totally stupid to get myself in an even more stressful situation. I exhaust my brain when I use it this way. It is worry, plain and simple. Worry is like praying to yourself when we should be handing the issue to God and leaving it in His capable hands.
To manage stress we must:
- Pay Attention to positive thoughts and godly attitudes rather than negative, repetitive thoughts.
- Face the real issue at the core of what we are stressed
- Understand the major life stressors and how they affect us
- Understand the Holy Spirit provides the gift of peace of heart and mind
- Take our thoughts captive according to 2 Cor. 10:5
- Trust God to lead us and take care of us
Action Steps to help you will be in the transcripts download available by signing up for the free Eating Stress course.
Eating Stress Course: https://Teresashieldsparker.com/stress/