Wednesday, July 15, 2020

6 Ways to Reduce Stress

by Gregory A. Johnson

6 Ways to Reduce Stress, by Gregory A. Johnson
We live during stressful times, and stress causes mental and physical illness. Stress causes high blood pressure that leads to heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the world.

I confess to you that I struggle with stress and must work daily to manage it and overcome stress damage to my mind and body. I have learned to recognize specific stress triggers in my life and have implemented strategies to counter them. Desiring to help you reduce stress and overcome stress damage in your life, allow me to share with you six ways to reduce stress that helps me. What I am sharing with you, I practice.

1. Get Sleep. Sleep helps your brain and body reset, improving memory and function. Try to get eight hours of sleep each night. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. 
2. Do nothing for thirty minutes a day. Some days I don't have thirty minutes straight, so I take two fifteen-minute breaks in my day to do nothing, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Find a quiet place in your home or at work. Shut your eyes. Relax your jaw and every muscle from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet. Set a timer on your phone and do nothing while relaxing until the timer goes off.
3. Limit your time on social media. People on social media can be divisive, hateful, and hurtful, causing you stress. Do not look at social media before your bedtime. I try to stay off all social media for the six hours before bedtime, and I limit my time on it during the day. Also, some people will try purposely to cause you to stress on social media. Please do not feel guilty unfollowing them.
4. Read the Bible each day. For high-stress times in your life, read the Psalms. When you need wisdom, read the Proverbs. When you lack direction in your life, read the Gospels, taking note of the actions, and the teachings of Jesus — He will give you the guidance you seek. 
5. Pray and Meditate. Praying is more than asking. Praying is also meditating on God's Word and his promises found there for you, standing on those promises, thanking the Lord for them. Try talking less and listening more when you pray and meditate.
6. Watch birds. You cannot watch birds and be stressed. Try it. I enjoy sitting in our sunroom each day in my favorite chair next to the window, watching the birds around our raised garden beds, in the trees, and the yard. As I watch them, I remember that Jesus says, "So my counsel is: Don't worry about things—food, drink, and clothes... Look at the birds! They don't worry about what to eat—they don't need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are (Matthew 6:25-26 TLB)."
Beloved, I pray that the Lord gives you a mighty baptism of his peace today, flooding your mind and body, displacing all your stress, soothing and comforting, giving you hunger for more of his peace to come to you. Your future is brighter than your past!

PLAY today’s video teaching from Pastor Greg