>>Tips for Minimizing Stress
Take periodic times away. “When people, especially ministers, don’t give themselves a break physically, emotionally, and spiritually, they burn out,” says Dr. Duininck. “If all of life is push, push, push, you’re going to get into trouble. Some ministers think, ‘The need is so great, how can I slow down?’ But I’ve treated many ministers who have severe heart disease because they are trying to do everything.” He advises building regular times of relaxation, enjoyment, and getting away into your schedule.
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
“If your goal is to save the entire world, then you’re going to be chronically disappointed and chronically stressed,” says Dr. Duininck. “That will rob you of your joy, and when you lose your joy, you lose your strength (Neh. 8:10). Then you’re trying to operate in your own ability and power instead of God’s.” Under those circumstances, he says, it’s only a matter of time until you run into some serious physical and emotional problems. “While it’s true that God will call us to do challenging things,” Dr. Duininck says, “He will always provide what we need to accomplish them.” He advises that we examine our goals and ask ourselves, “Is this what God wants, or are there other motives involved that cause me to push myself too hard?”
“The Bible says that the trying of our faith produces patience,” says Dr.Duininck, “but as Christians, we hate that! If we’d just realize, in the midst of trials, that God is still in charge, we could let that patience have its perfect work in our lives (James 1:4). We need to be patient and take time to wait on God, and He will renew our strength (Isa. 40:31).”
Stress releases adrenaline and other chemicals into the body. Daily activity reduces those chemical levels. “Even a brisk, 20-minute walk four times a week will help your body burn off those chemicals,” says Dr. Duininck. “Even though you may not think you have enough time, you have to make time, just as you do for eating or devotions. God made your body to move, and when you do, you’ll think more clearly, you’ll be more relaxed, and you’ll sleep better.”
Work on Relationships
So many people don’t have close personal relationships with other Christians. It’s just them and God. “God didn’t intend for it to be that way for the majority of people,” Duininck says. “People need to have close friends they can open up to and talk to about the problems they’re dealing with. You don’t open up to just anybody, but to close friends who can help by praying and ministering to you.”
Minimize your caffeine and sugar intake, says Dr. Duininck. “Because they are stimulants, they add to anxiety levels and the physical problems caused by stress.”
20 Practical Ways to De-Stress Your Life?
- Go to bed on time.
- Get up on time to start your day unrushed.
- Learn to delegate to capable people.
- Simplify, organize, and unclutter your life.
- Tackle things that hang over you. Don’t procrastinate.
- Allow extra time to get to places.
- Live within your budget.
- Do something you love every day.
- Breathe. (Take more deep breaths, especially when under pressure.)
- Get enough exercise and eat right. (Yes, you can!)
- Every day, schedule in some “downtime” to relax.
- Laugh more.
- Keep the switch of faith turned on.
- Forgive (if you have anything against anyone—Mark 11:25 Amplified).
- At the end of every day, write three things in a thankfulness journal.
- Talk less; listen more.
- Say no to some things. Keep first things first. (God, family, health)
- Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
- Be a praiser.