Stress is insidious. It is relentless. It can drag us down to the point that we feel powerless and defeated. At the root of stress, is the evil one himself whose goal is to destroy us. Yet Jesus tells us He came to give us abundant life. He came to give us power over the things that try to destroy us.
When try to solve all of our problems, plus every issue at work and in our marriage and with our kids and our friends and our inadequacies and our faults and our difficulties it becomes overwhelming. However, there is hope for managing stress before it manages us.
We can manage how we respond to the stressors in our lives. Before long instead of stress managing us we can manage our stress. We can take back the power over our minds and emotions by submitting them to God. We have freely given into stressors of all kinds and when we do this, we give them the power over our lives.
We allow problems to consume us and when we do that, we immediately give the problem power over us. In order to stop obsessing over the issue, we try to forget about it by indulging in comfort foods.
We think we can forget about our problems then they won’t overwhelm and stress us out. This never works because the problem is still there, along with the additional pounds we add to our bodies, which results in physical stress along with the emotional and mental stress we already have.
God gave us all brains. Instead of stressing over problems, we can’t ever fix we must use our minds to submit to Him. He actually does have the solution to every problem. Instead, we think we can jump in and fix it faster than He can.
Part of the function of our minds is to keep us on the right channel or frequency. When we are stressed, we feel like our minds have about 50 open channels at once. We’re thinking of everything on our to-do lists, everything we want to get done, everyone’s problems that we’d like to fix, our problems we want to get fixed and the list goes on and on.
We have an attention problem. In order to manage our stress we must be cognizant of what we are paying attention to. We will pay attention to whatever is most important in our lives. According to the National Science Foundation, the average person has 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive throughs.
The key is to pay attention to positive thoughts, rather than negative, repetitive thoughts We can do this by first acknowledging what is stressing us out. What are the thoughts that we continue to obsess over? Why are we allowing them entrance into our minds? What is it about them that makes us obsess over them?
Many times we are even afraid to examine what we are thinking about, even though it’s taking up all of our brain power. The root issue that is driving our fear or obsession is too scary for us to face. So we obsess over the surface issues.
We don’t want to face the core issue so we are covering up what feels like a deep, dark fear of ours by overprocessing it to find an answer. Doing this we have exhausted our brains to the point that we are even forgetting everyday things.
Understand the Core Issue
In order to take back control of our life, we need to pull back the curtain and understand what we are trying to ignore. We have to look it in the face and call it like it is in order to get rid of it.
When we try to ignore stress or anxiety, it’s going to get louder rather than softer. This is when we scream at our loved ones, quit our jobs on a whim because we can’t take it anymore or run to addictions.
This happens because we have overloaded ourselves with worry, but we haven’t really even asked God to show us the root of our stress, worry, anxiety, fear or overwhelm. Most of the time, at the root of the stress is a lie, which presents itself as a fear of what might happen. It feels impossible for us to deal with and in a way it is.
We were created by God to cooperate with Him. What is impossible for us is only possible with God. God needs us to be His hands and feet in the world, but only when we are following what He is showing us to do not when we are taking on things that are not ours to be concerned about. This will always result in overwhelming us.
Jesus has the answer for us but He doesn’t whitewash things for us. He tells it to us straight. In John 16:33 NLT He says, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” If He overcame the world, then as His children He has given us the ability to do that as well. He left us a gift to do just that.
For more on this, check out my free course, Eating Stress. Go here: teresashieldsparker.com/stress/.