Help, I’m StreSSed!

It’s amazing how much stress we face on a daily basis, it just seems as if we are getting busier by the day and now need more than 24 hours a day to work through our schedules. Stress has been defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.” 

Stress can occur as a result of workload or difficult relationships. It’s nevertheless imperative that we get a grip and manage stress so that we don’t get to the hyper stress mode as this can be dangerous to our physical and mental health. 

Stress has been proven medically to be the root cause of about 90 percent of illness and diseases. Diseases and illnesses such as high blood pressure, cancer, body pain, cardiovascular diseases, headaches, heart disease and even low immune system have been linked to stress factors.

Therefore it’s time to de-stress and REST!

How do we REST?

1. Refresh- a lot of us have worked tirelessly for such a long time without taking a break, why not decide to REFRESH your spirit, soul and body. If God in His might and power can rest after 6 days of work, why do we think we can keep going without taking a break. Man is a tripartite being, therefore it’s important that we take time often to de-stress and refresh our spirit, soul and body. We need to schedule personal spiritual retreats, and you don’t have to necessarily leave your house, you can just decide to switch off phones etc and stay in GOD’S presence all day. We need to refresh our souls, we do a lot of mental work, even when we say we want to rest , our mind is still working, we wake up in the morning and start to work through our schedules in our head, we keep thinking about unmet targets etc, and sometimes worry about difficult situations or relationships around us. We need to REFRESH our souls so we can have FRESH inspiration. The mind is like a child, so we must get a grip and train it to declutter and be still. Take time to just play games, listen to soul lifting music, watch funny movies, laugh, jist with friends and do “unserious” things. Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

We must also refresh our physical bodies, so many of us don’t get enough sleep because of our schedules, pause often and have a lie-in, get a massage, treat your face at home, have a bubble bath etc. YOU are priority, if your body breaks down, there’s no amount of tasks you might have listed on your to-do, nothing will be done, so wisdom is key.

2. Evaluate- 

Thomas Merton said and I quote “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

It’s very important that we evaluate schedules, goals, ambitions, priorities and relationships often. Our time is our life, therefore what or who we give our time to must be key. Some goals and relationships might be out of date and needs to be ditched or re-prioritised as it’s causing too much strain resulting in stress. So, we must take time to analyse, vis a vis the time I’m putting into this, how much return I getting back, is this a profitable venture or relationship? And don’t get me wrong, there’s a place of staying with something new to grow it, but if a journey with an ETA of 2 hours has taken you 5 hours and you are still not there, something is very wrong and you must stop and evaluate. Are your goals realistic, are they SMART? or is it because “other people are doing it”, are you walking in your area of strength? It’s important that you identify your unique area of strength and set your goals along such line. Unrealistic goals causes stress. 

3. Strengthen: once we are done evaluating, we then need to strengthen weak areas. Strengthening anything takes time, our generation is in a hurry, however we must learn patience. Half baked cakes does no one any good, it might be a case of learning new skills, for instance, learning how to use excel so you can do your own presentations and not have to wait on that colleague that often let’s you down and causes you stress. You may have to strengthen your mind, by reading books that will expand your scope. You may have to strengthen the relationships in your life after you have evaluated them to be important by giving it more time and attention. For some, you get tired easily because you are not physically fit, so you may need to get regular exercises to strengthen your physical body.

4. Trust- Having done all to TRUST. We must learn how to trust God to perfect all that concerns us. 

We often get stressed out over situations that we have no control over by worrying and over thinking. It is important to always assess each situation that causes us stress critically and ask ourselves if what we are worrying about is within our sphere of control or not. For instance, try to ‘change’ another human being is not within your sphere of control. Joyce Meyer said and I quote, “worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you busy but takes you nowhere. Worry only stresses you out and will ultimately cause illness and diseases in your body, so why not allow HIM with whom nothing is impossible to handle that situation. 

So make up your mind today to R.E.S.T..





…Jola-Grace Emmanuel