One thing that all of us have in common is the fact that from time to time in our lives, we will all experience a certain amount of stress. Nobody ever wants stress in their life, but the hard facts are that occasional stress is inevitable. How you deal with stress is what matters, and will play a huge part in determining the amount of peace and fulfillment you are able to experience in your life.
Have you ever been stressed out to the point that you felt that if one more challenge were to come your way, your emotional rope would snap? I know I have been in that place a time or two in my life. From my experience, I have learned that most of the stress and turmoil I have allowed myself to be buried under in the past, was brought on mostly by circumstances that I had no control over. At times in my life, I have stressed out over situations and events in my past that I couldn’t change. I have also made myself a victim of stress by worrying about things that had not even happened yet. The worst trap I have fallen into in the past was stressing out over the actions of others. One day I finally realized that all the things that were stressing me out were things beyond my control. I finally managed to get it into my head that the only thing I could control was my attitude and my response to what was happening around me.
In times of stress, one thing that has helped me immensely has been forcing myself to stop and take inventory of all the things that were going “right” in my life. When I do this, I am reminded that my blessings far outweigh whatever inconvenient situations and stressful circumstances I may be surrounded by at the time. Try this sometime. If you have to actually get a pencil and paper and write the things you are thankful for on the left, and the things you wish were different on the right, do it! You may be surprised how good your life actually is. You really know it is good….you may just need to be reminded.
Stress is not always a bad thing. Stress causes us to be creative in our thinking, think outside the box, and helps us to experience personal growth. Most of all, it forces us to do what we should have done all along, which is put our trust solely in God to work out our situations. When we make it through a period of stress, and we realize that we are ok….it makes us better equipped to handle a similar episode of stress, knowing that what we were able to get through before, we can certainly get through again. I heard an analogy once that spoke of when a young tree is bent over by strong winds, because the tree is so green and flexible, it will be bend way over and not break. I’ve heard it said that the stress placed on the small trunk of the young tree by the strong winds actually helps strengthen the trunk. Stress in our lives works much in the same way….if we can simply have faith, and know that all that really matters is that we are ok right now, and realize that God is in control of everything anyway, the winds of stress that try to break us will only serve to make us stronger. Periods of stress often make us come to the discovery that we are stronger than we ever realized.
Don’t let stress overwhelm you. As my Mother used to always say, ” The problems of today didn’t come to stay; they came to pass.” Whatever you are facing today, understand that just like the wind, your winds of stress won’t blow forever. Eventually the winds will be calm, and you’ll be a stronger person than you were before! Keep your chin up; whether you know it or not, God has a plan for your life. Trust him, and know that he has everything already planned out!
Thanks for Reading!
Until next time,