Two Things You Can Do, Even While You Are Stressed

Living under the weight of stress is something we’ve all become too accustomed to; almost as if it’s a part of life we should just accept. Yet shouldn’t the overcoming life that Jesus paid for involve living above the constant attacks and pressure of stress?

There has to be more than always living with constant stress.

Although there is not much you can do to make the world around you kinder to your stress triggers, I have found two things that I can do in the midst of stressful times that can actually take the pressure off

1. Love People, Even While Stressed

Here is the problem. We can get so focused on our stress, pain and depression that we lose sight of the relationships around us. Even though Jesus was in the midst of His most challenging trial in the garden, He remained aware of those around Him. He even healed a servant’s ear that had been cut while He was being taken away.

When you read about the interactions of Jesus, it is clear that any stressful situation in no way diminished His ability to give people His undivided attention and love. Stress did not hinder His relationship with the Father. In fact, when stress arised, He knew He could go to the Father to receive strength.

He was able to face a distressing event that loomed over His head. Yet when it came to interacting with people, those issues did not interfere with His ability to love.

I find the quickest way to remedy the stress I am feeling is to stop and get more relationship focused. Stress seems to focus our attention on tasks, results and demands, more than simple loving relationship.

So I have found that when I stop, look around and do a scan of the relationships I hold dear, while connecting to gratitude for what matters most, I am grounded in a new perspective that overthrows stress.

When I chose to love others in the midst of pressure, it actually causes stress to lose its grip. My mind no longer gets focused on myself, but on the bigger picture in life.

2. Seek to Learn a New Response to Stress

During a season where my home flooded, my car got totaled and I was living in a hotel with my wife and two children. Having stress was an understatement. Yet as I leaned into God, I hear Him say, “Get into joy.”

I was shocked by this thought, for it was the absolute opposite of what my situation portrayed. Yet as I leaned into that word, I found great joy and enjoyment in the midst of a deep trial.

Everyone has a pattern they fall into when they get stressed. You may freeze up, get angry, lash out at people, numb out, isolate or get hyper busy. Whatever your default stress response, I invite you to discover a new response to stress.

I find that our unhealthy patterns need to be interrupted with a new perspective and action. Jesus was in all ways tempted, including the temptation to let stress get the upper hand.

What is a new response you can engage? Maybe you need to laugh it off instead of taking your life so seriously. You may need to actually engage the opposite emotion than what you fall into. Maybe your family can make a decision to live more slow, rather than always being rushed and pulled in a million directions.

The key is, don’t just live a life where you react to everything the same way with the same defeating results. Lean into the discovery of a new way you respond so that you can overcome.

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