There are days when I walk around with tight shoulders, clamped teeth, and a general attitude of hostility, but I can’t track down the exact reason. I have to take a deep breath, relax my shoulders, and attempt to figure out what is making my life feel so difficult.
Often the following things are the culprits, and maybe this list will be helpful in your own efforts to reduce the stress in your life.
A general sense of doom follows me around when I don’t pay attention to my finances. As depressing as it can be, I always feels better when I sit down, see exactly how much money is going in and out of our accounts, and pay bills (or contact creditors if things are really dire) right away. Pretending money doesn’t affect my mood is silly. It’s better to deal with it.
Like putting off finances, procrastinating a decision just causes more stress. The longer I wait, the more complicated the situation may become. Sure, it might feel overwhelming to deal with the issue, but I’m miserable now anyway. I need to rip off the Band-Aid and get on with life.
Too many commitments
When my calendar looks like a tornado of events, my mind feels the strain. Some events make me resentful because I feel overextended or pushed into something I don’t want to do. It helps to postpone things or have honest conversations about what I’m able to attend.
There’s no law that says we have to pay attention to everything, so I turn the news off when it’s making me feel like doomsday has arrived.
Listen. I love cheesy puffs, soda, and a bag of chocolate as much as the next girl. But when I’ve been eating junk like this, I feel terrible. That ache in my gut translates into my mood, so I’ve finally learned self-control helps me feel better all around.
I realize you’re probably reading this on your cell phone, which makes this stress-causer kind of ironic. But I don’t believe we are made to handle the onslaught of input our phones create. I hide the thing in a drawer and let the fake news, personality quizzes, and updates wait until tomorrow.
When my house is out of control, my whole life feels like it’s out of control. It’s worth a few moments to straighten pillows, declutter the coffee table, and clear out the kitchen sink. My environment affects my mood!
Starved spiritual life
Human bodies can’t live without food and water, and my soul can’t thrive without time with God. When I don’t read the Bible, pray, or spend time with my church family, I’m cut off from God and the body of Christ. It’s a recipe for certain stress. Jesus said he came to bring us full and abundant life, but often we miss that abundance because we forget to draw close to him.
What steals Jesus’s abundant life from you? What can you do about it today? For additional tips see the book below.
Jessie Clemence is a writer, blogger, and church secretary based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has also been a social worker in the foster care system, a childrens ministry coordinator, and a lunch lady. Jessie is the author of If I Plug My Ears, God Cant Tell Me What to Do and Theres a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse. Visit her online at jessieclemence.com.