By Pam Lively

Stress is a six-lettered word for an affliction that bothers most of us-One whose sole treatment is an elusive ten-lettered word called relaxation. Some people can never relax. There is always so much to be done. And seldom is anything done the way you probably think it should be done. Enter stress.
God does not create the stress in our lives. We do it ourselves with our insecurities, our anxieties, and our drive to excel. We also create problems for ourselves by crowding too many things into one day.
Here are some practical suggestions for relieving the stress:

  1. Plan some idleness every day.
  2. Listen to others without interruption.
  3. Read a book that demands concentration.
  4. Learn to savor food.
  5. Have a place for retreat at home.
  6. Avoid irritating, overly competitive people.
  7. Plan leisurely, less structured vacations.
  8. Concentrate on enriching yourself.
  9. Live by the calendar, not the stopwatch.
  10. Concentrate on one task at a time.

Here are some biblical suggestions for relieving stress:

  1. If the worst happens it happens. (II Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for thee...") There is a difference between worry concern, but don't worry. (Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.")
  2. Forget the past. God has! (Philippians 3:13" Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended but this one thing I do, forgetting things which are behind...').
  3. Learn to be content with what you have. (Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am therewith to be content." Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.")
  4. Put your primary trust in God and not in yourself. (Psalm 118:8 "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." Jeremiah 17:7 "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.")
  5. Pray regularly. (Ephesians 6:18 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." I Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing.")

Article complied by Pam Lively from the book "Born Again, But Still Wet Behind the Ears" by Ann Kindig Sheetz