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Posts Tagged ‘Stress’

Don’t lose sleep

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 (NKJV)

Six out of ten are not having a good night’s sleep.  For many of these, money concerns are snatching their zzz’s. According to a new survey from CreditCards.com 62% of us have at least one financial issue keeping us up nights.  The most common reasons: saving for retirement, paying for college and health or insurance bills.

Jean Chatzky, from TODAY,[i] provides advice on how to stop losing sleep over money.

Make time to ponder during the day.  Often what we think about at night are things we push out of our awareness during the day because we don’t allow time for them.  Set aside time to proactively think about it and make a plan to deal with will help you solve the issue of sleeplessness.

Keep a notepad by the bed. If you wake up with any of those financial concerns on your mind, write them down so they don’t keep bouncing around in your head.  We may think we’re going to forget something important, and in fact we may, so we keep thinking about the different angles, possible solutions, or likely consequences.  By jotting it down you can relax knowing you don’t have to bother with it until daytime when you’re awake, hopefully more rested, and when you can give more careful thought to those ideas that came to your mind overnight.

Develop some basic good habits. It would be good if you open all your mail everyday, keep running lists of upcoming income and expenses, track your out of pocket spending and organize and pay your bills in order of urgency. If there are any bills you can’t pay, call your creditors and try to work out an arrangement to pay as you can in the future.

Take care of yourself. Don’t eat close to bedtime, exercise regularly, disconnect from electronic media at least an hour before going to sleep.  Those healthy practices can help you sleep better.

Father God, there’s nothing better at the end of each day than a good night’s rest.  Help me to achieve that sleep every day and get the rest I need.

[i] http://www.today.com/money/jean-chatzky-stop-losing-sleep-over-money-t28656?cid=eml_tes_20150625

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We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. 2 Corinthians 4:8 (CEV)

Jeannette Moninger, from WebMD,[i] finishes her list of stress-relieving tips that will help us zap stress in less than 15 minutes.

  1. Crank Up the Tunes. Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Create a playlist of songs or nature sounds such as the ocean, a bubbling brook, birds chirping, and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece. You also can blow off steam by moving to more upbeat tunes or singing at the top of your lungs. . . preferably in the shower or a place where no one else can hear you.
  2. Get Moving. All forms of exercise, including walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrugs.
  3. Be Grateful. Keep a gratitude journal or several (one by your bed, one in your iPad/iPhone, and one at work) to help you remember all the things that are good in your life. Use these journals to savor good experiences like a child’s smile, a sunshine-filled day, and good health. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments like mastering a new task at work or a new hobby.  When you start feeling stressed, spend a few minutes looking through your notes to remind yourself what really matters.  You can also make a photo album on your device of pictures that bring you joy – your children smiling and having a good time, a vacation spot you visited, your favorite landscapes, etc.

I love these words:  “I have evidence–the very best–that God loves you. He will not thrust you from Him in your weakness, for He loves you. Do not worry yourself out of the arms of Jesus, but just repose in restful quietude in His love. His grace will be all-sufficient for you when heart and flesh shall fail. He will give you His peace and His grace. Gather to your soul God’s promises, for Jesus is your constant, unfailing friend.”[ii]

Father God, help me to rest in your arms or love and mercy always.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot?ecd=wnl_emw_052015&ctr=wnl-emw-052015_nsl-promo_5&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

[ii] White, E.G.  Manuscrip Releases, vol 16, No. 243

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Relax, calm down – 2

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Psalm 6:2 (NKJV)

Jeannette Moninger, from WebMD,[i] gives us more stress-relieving tips that will help us zap stress in less than 15 minutes.

  1. Reach Out. Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talk to others — preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share what’s going on. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong.
  2. Tune In to Your Body. Do a mental scan of your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back, or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at your toes and work your way up to your scalp, noticing how your body feels. Be aware of places you feel tight or loose without trying to change anything but paying close attention to sensations you feel in each body part.
  3. Decompress. Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. Remove the wrap, and use a tennis ball or foam roller to massage away tension. Place the ball between your back and the wall. Lean into the ball, and hold gentle pressure for up to 15 seconds. Then move the ball to another spot, and apply pressure.
  4. Laugh Out Loud. A good belly laugh lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood. Tune in to your favorite sitcom or video, reading the comics, or chatting with someone who makes you smile.

As much as we believe that God can help us when we are worried or stressed, it is precisely during those times that we tend to forget that He loves us and wants to help us.  Look at these words: “There are many who live under such a pressure of worry that they taste but little of the sweetness of God’s love. They do not know the meaning of the words, ‘That My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ Let us do our best, and then leave everything in the hands of the Lord, saying, I believe Thy promises. Wilt Thou not give evidence of Thy working? He will hear and answer.”[ii]

Father God, in my darkest hour, shine your light of love on me.  Help me to trust you and let me lean on you for encouragement.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot?ecd=wnl_emw_052015&ctr=wnl-emw-052015_nsl-promo_5&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

[ii] White, E.G.  Signs of the Times, February 14, 1906

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Relax, calm down – 1

I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. Psalm 38:6 (NKJV)

Life is busy.  We seem to be constantly occupied with work, family, children, the house, the church, the car, schoolwork, friends, television, and on and on.  Twenty-four hours a day don’t seem enough for all we have to do and we want to accomplish.  The result is that we are tired and stressed out.  We need a vacation, and we need it right now!  But we don’t need a spa weekend or a retreat. Jeannette Moninger, from WebMD,[i] gives us these stress-relieving tips that will help us zap stress in less than 15 minutes.

  1. Meditate. Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress. You don’t need to think of meditation as something from eastern religions.  You can read a passage from Scripture, a bible promise, or read something from a religious book, then sit up straight with both feet on the floor, close your eyes, and think about all the details of what you read, as if you were present for that event or accepting that promise for you. As you study your bible, make a list of those passages you could use when you need to spend some time in this type of spiritual discipline.  Make prayer part of your time of meditation.
  2. Breathe Deeply. Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing slows the heart rate and lowers the blood pressure, and the oxygen-rich blood also helps you to relax.
  3. Be Present. Slow down. Become aware of one behavior or one aspect around you.  For instance, notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food.  When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you can begin to feel less tense.

Father God, help me to relax and be less stressed so that the pressures of life may not overwhelm me and hurt me.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot?ecd=wnl_emw_052015&ctr=wnl-emw-052015_nsl-promo_5&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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