I’ve had such great stress upon me this week. Everyone experiences pressures in their lives daily, so I know I am not alone. How do we deal with these emotions as Christian women? I mentally pump my fist in the air shouting, “Someone give me some concrete strategies to cope with all this!”
The following are a few things I did that helped me feel better.
Jesus had such great stress that the Bible describes it as “His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
His response to that stress was to pray, "Father ... not my will, but yours be done'," (Luke 22:42, NIV). We must take the example of Jesus. Pray. In that prayer make sure to give thanks for what you do have, ask for what you need and have faith that it will all work out according to His will.
2) BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF.
Is it as bad as it really is? Is the world TRULY falling around you or are we just being a tad bit overdramatic? When my mom was hospitalized I could cry at the drop of a hat. The truth of the matter was that she WAS suffering from a serious heart issue, but she was stable and talking. She was able to leave that hospital within a few days and PRAISE GOD it wasn’t a life-or-death situation. In my mind, all I could think was “MY MOM IS IN THE HOSPITAL!”
I was playing the worst-case scenario in my mind instead of having hope and faith that she was going to be okay. Ask God to give you truth within yourself and give you wisdom to deal with stressful situations (Ps. 51:6).
3) LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING.
Be logical and look for the silver lining in what you are going through. Is God trying to teach you something? Is God sparing you from something that can bring you harm? I recently suffered the loss of a great friendship which brought me some serious stress in my life. The Holy Spirit just continued to remind me that He is covering me and everything happens because He has my best interest at heart.
The Bible says that not a bird falls to the ground without His knowledge (Mat 10:29). I’m sure this great change, loss or move in your life has a higher purpose.
4) PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE.
Compared to what is happening around the world, how does my situation compare? You are having a terrible week at work, but while many are being laid off, you still have a job. You have some medical issues but many people are losing their lives daily. Your mother in law is on your case about how you raise your kids but I don’t even have one and I would love to have someone in my life that cared enough to be a part of my children’s lives. You have yet ANOTHER church function to attend and feel stressed about it while people all over the world are being martyred for their beliefs.
5) SHARE WITH SOMEONE.
A wise man once told me, “We are a community, so when one of us goes through something we come together to help absorb the blow.” I didn’t want to tell anyone anything I was going through for many reasons. Maybe it was because of my pride, perhaps I didn’t want to seem vulnerable. But when I did, the hugs, love, compassion and prayers were like a refreshing water for my soul.
Depression can develop from holding inside emotions and not dealing with them. You aren’t alone. Find a trusted shoulder to lean on, someone to pray with you. We are all part of a family (Eph 2:19-22)
Physical activity is a known stress-reliever. After exercise, the flood of endorphins and other chemicals in the body can have a euphoric effect and help reduce blood pressure and other maladies.
7) DO SOMETHING TO HELP OTHERS.
Instead of wallowing in my situation I realized that doing something for someone else helped me feel better and realize that even during a bad situation happening in my own life, I can bless someone else! God will be pleased with your sacrifice (Heb 13:16).