Stress has touched everyone; knowing how to manage it is something we can all get better at. Just look at our world in the early 2020’s. Ouch. Let’s get this straight from the get-go, stress management is a skill. Managing stress is something we learn and practice over and over again. Whether we need help with managing work stress, health stress, stress with parenting, social stress, or stress when moving; let’s hone in on how to get better at it with 5 of my favorite stress management tips!
Fix it, please
Years ago I accidentally deleted my entire website. Yeah, ‘File Not Found’ stared at me in the eyes. My stress level went from three to a hundred in a matter of milliseconds. As a result, about 5 seconds later Worry settled in, and in a matter of 60 seconds, anxiety settled in.
Furthermore, because I did my own website work, I couldn’t just call a web person and say, “Fix it please”. All this hard work…GONE. The “undo” button or back arrow was pointless in this case. I tried it. Do you ever have times like these? When you ask yourself, “Why did I just do that? Did that really happen?” Wishing there was an “undo” button?
It’s funny when these stressful mistakes occur and we believe for a split second, maybe it will go away and fix itself, or everything will go back to normal if I just close my eyes. Tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this.
Hubby? Are you awake?
Above all, what really put the icing on the cake was that this website disaster occurred right before bed. Like sleep was going to happen! My brain was fried. Knuckles locked. Fingertips deaden. The courage to push the keys on my keyboard was in deep jeopardy. As a result, when I did find the strength to push buttons, I immediately checked my backup. Well, guess what, it wasn’t working! My ears got hot and my gut started to cramp. Stress management tips to the rescue, please!
Talking this situation out with someone is a great stress management tip to start with. My husband was sleeping already…not that he knows anything about websites…but I needed someone by my side, to listen to my predicament. Through the years I’ve found healing when I talk to someone about an issue. When we “vent” it’s like we release the problem from our minds and put it out in the world for the world to figure out. Maybe the listener can relate to how to deal with the subject. I see stress as a pressure cooker. When there is too much pressure, we need to open the cap to let some steam out.
When no one is there
Since my husband was sleeping, I didn’t want to disturb him; he has enough sleeping issues as it is. With no one available, I folded my hands and closed my eyes tight, “God, I’m freaking out. I made a mistake and I’m not sure how to fix it. Please help me dig deep and figure this out.” And then I prayed again. God is always awake and He’s available.
What’s next? The size of my problem.
After giving it to God, I needed to do something else for a minute. All I wanted to do was escape, to get out of the room, away from the keyboard. In the black of the night, I slide on my slippers, grabbed a towel, and walked outside. The dark sky was peppered with a twinkle. It was a welcoming reminder of how small my problem was and how big the world stands. “Was anyone else in their backyard stressing out like me? Probably.
As I folded my towel into a neat square, I anticipated sitting on it to just be. The shadowy trees surrounded me, but not in an intimidating way. No bugs, no noises, just stillness. I watched my breath let go. The quietness blanketed my shoulders. The earthy air filled my nose. And I felt a peace embrace my soul. There at the moment was God telling me all was going to be okay.
The value of this stressful night revealed to me the power of perspective. If I didn’t get stressed out, then I wouldn’t have prayed, I wouldn’t have felt the nudge to go outside, I wouldn’t have encountered nature in its nightly glory, and I wouldn’t have experienced the healing powers of my backyard.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, spending even just five minutes around trees or in green spaces, like your backyard, helps lower blood pressure, reduces stress, improves mood, instills focus, accelerates healing, increases energy, and improves sleep.* And you wonder why I craved to get outside…
The article goes on to say, “Numerous studies show that… simply sitting looking at the trees reduces stress-related hormones.” Nature has the ability to heal and to soothe the soul. Going outside isn’t just for kids to play in, but for us to pray in. You’re going to want to check out my post on Nature Quotes: the power of the outdoors.
Focus on the calm
Consequently, I know this is hard, but when you encounter a stressful situation, I challenge you to focus on calming down immediately. In doing so; you will gain a better perspective of the issue and will respond in a wiser manner. After a good 15 minutes, I wasn’t worried anymore. Whether I had to start from scratch or come up with a different solution, it was going to be alright. That night in my backyard I stood up, shook my towel out, and walked back inside. My feet slid out of my slippers and I went to bed. I actually slept.
5 Stress Management Tips
#1 Talk it out.
#2 Pray without ceasing
#3 Go outside and take a breather
#4 Rest to be your best
#5 Back-up everything that’s important to you.
My take away
The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, I got up extremely early to mend my mishap. With a well-rested body and mind, I was diligent to figure this out. Hence, venturing into the back end of my website was scary but I succeeded and found an older backup. Thank the Lord! Later that day I took a long walk amongst the trees while being grateful for my state of being. Practice how to manage stress. Next time you’re stressed out, take out these 5 stress management tips and see how you do. You may be surprised at how simple it works.
Before you go, check out these other great posts on stress.
By CT Copyright © 2019 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved