• johned@aibi.ph

Handling Stress

(Philippians 4:11-13 NIV) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. {12} I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. {13} I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Useful books:
How To Win Over Worry -John Haggai
Growing Through Stress - Dr Kath Donovan
Feeling Good - The New Mood Therapy David M Burns

The first two books are specifically Christian, the third is "Christian compatible".

Diagnosing Stress Levels

Check your fruit -(Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. If you are becoming impatient, unloving etc then stress is probably a tad too high. Slow down.

How To Slow Down

  • Ask....
    1) Am I doing too much?
    2) Is what I am doing too difficult for me?
    3) Does this really matter ?

  • List your activities in order of priority

  • Ditch those that are neither urgent or important

  • Of the rest:
    Find ways to simplify those that are too complex for you
    Off load and delegate that which is too much for you.

Dealing with feeling stuck and helpless

  1. Make a list of everything that is stressing you including thoughts, worries and doubts.

  2. Cross off those things that probably won't happen (terrorist attack at SU, overnight fame etc)

  3. Cross off those things that only God can take care off.

  4. Cross off those things God has given you a clear and specific word on.

  5. Divide the rest into Things that are largely mine to fix and things that depend a lot on others.

  6. Take the list headed Things that are largely mine to fix and put them in order of priority.

  7. Pick a simple job near the top of the priority list and start there then keep on tackling jobs until they are done.

Dealing with mental, emotional and spiritual stress that blocks and defeats you.

These are nearly always grounded in our beliefs and particularly in our self talk. Statements such as "I can't do this, its impossible.." are typical self-defeating exaggeration. Its generally a small job that makes us feel that way. One that we could do yesterday. Here is a method to unblock yourself.

Rule up five columns on a piece of paper headed the incident,the thought, the feeling caused by the thought,a better way to think about the incident, how I feel now. Eg the incident - a hopelessly messy desk, thought - I'll never get through all this, feeling caused by the thought- depression, frustration, resignation to defeat, a better way to think "If I clean this up it won't look half so bad and I can make a start on it" How I feel now - competent and in control.

This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.