Motivational Mondays #42: Managing Stress and Anxiety
Welcome to Motivational Mondays!
First things first, what is Motivational Mondays?
Just like it sounds, to motivate, to empower, and to encourage you on the first day of a fresh week. I don't know about you but Mondays can be a drag for me, so sometimes words of encouragement and positivity are helpful to start my day off right.
Motivational Monday's topic is:
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How many of you have ever experienced stress and anxiety? Do you stress out often? What do you stress out over? What are you anxious about? Does your anxiety cripple your day-to-day living? Do you know what stress and anxiety do to the body? What does the bible say about stress and anxiety? How would you manage stress and anxiety?
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
These are all questions that I have pondered on and want you to think about. Ask them to yourself and if you feel up for it comment some of your answers down in the comment section below. The bible poses a simple question, How much time can you add to your life by stressing, worrying, or being anxious? The answer to that question is none. The only thing that is certain when you are stressing is that you are sure to lose or waste time! I encourage you to read Matthew chapter 6 in its entirety.
I don’t think many people truly understand just how dangerous stress and anxiety can be on the mind, body, and spirit. Stress and anxiety can both induce and mimic health issues. Stressing and having anxiety can be deadly, which is quite scary to think about. Remember what we discussed in the Subconscious Mind post, the mind is a powerful force that drives your actions, and thoughts.
Let's dive in!
There are some serious symptoms of stress and anxiety-like migraines, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, panic attacks, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic hives, substance use disorders, insomnia, and hypersensitivity syndrome just to name a few. If you are otherwise healthy and there are no confounding medical variables that would indicate the presence of these symptoms, then it is caused by the mind and the stress that you have. For those who don’t know I suffer from chronic and crippling anxiety. It causes me to become unmotivated, and have pain in my body. Recently, I have been experiencing a lot of stress-related chest pain because I did not know how to manage my stress and anxiety properly. Let me tell you that chest pain is no joke, it makes you feel like you are having a heart attack and can cause sharp shortness of breath. This was so scary for me, I am also hypervigilant too, so because of my stress I was stressing out about the things in my life, and then because I was having chest pain I was anxious and stressing about that too. I couldn’t take the pain anymore so I decided to do some research on how to manage stress properly and luckily for us there is a way for us to manage it.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
1. Talk to God First
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
God is your first line of defense when managing stress and anxiety. Remember he is the only one who can carry the full weight of your stress without becoming weary or weigh down. Just talk to him and then let it go.
Exercising or doing yoga is a great way to reduce the amount of mental stress and anxiety that you are feeling because of the release of happy hormones that are being released within the body from exercise. When you exercise you take in more oxygen giving your muscles and your brain a much-needed wake-up.
3. Light A Candle
Lighting a candle, especially ones that have soothing scents can help relax you and reduce stress. Candles can also change the ambiance in the room to a more soothing nature. Personally, I find candles that have eucalyptus, mint, peppermint, bergamot, tea tree, citrus, lotus, jasmine, and so on in them to be the most relaxing. If you don’t know where to start that’s okay, I have some on my Etsy shop page that you can try. A Golden Dream's Esty Shop
4. Have Some “Me Time”
Taking time out of your day to make some time for you and practice self-love is key. We are all victims of not taking care of ourselves. If you are anything like me you care for everyone else’s needs and yours are last on the totem pole. Carving time out for yourself to refuel and become energized is key when reducing stress and anxiety. You can read a book, pamper yourself, buy a self-care kit, take a bubble bath, watch a movie, or relax. Do things that you find enjoyable that will give you some peace of mind.
5. Go For A Walk
Taking a walk is a great stress reducer because it allows you to connect with nature. Listen to the birds chirping, feel the wind on your face, and really be in the moment. So many of us are so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to take a step back and truly enjoy nature. It can be so soothing for the soul. Go for a hike, walk down the beach, or go for a walk in the park. God created nature for us to connect with and enjoy.
6. Journal, Journal, Journal
Journaling is one of my personal favorites because it allows me to write out exactly what is bothering me on paper. I can vent freely without the fear of judgment. Journaling can be very therapeutic in nature because it also allows you to visually see what is going on.
7. Hang Out With Friends and Family
Spend time with your loved ones. Too often we get so wrapped up with life, and our schedule, that we forget to take a beat and spend time with the ones we love. Oftentimes they are the very ones that can help either reduce or eliminate your stress and anxiety altogether.
8. Laugh and Smile
Yes, you heard me right. Smiling and laughing can improve your mood easily. It can make you feel better and give you a sense of light-heartedness.
9. Learn to Say No!
Sometimes we can become stressed out because we are always saying yes to other people and we end up taking on too much. This is a hard skill to master because it requires you to put yourself first. I am so guilty of saying yes, and I end up taking on too much because I don’t want to let others down. It isn’t worth it. Becoming overwhelmed can leave you feeling so bogged down and unmotivated. Having too much to do can add to your stress levels. Be S.M.A.R.T. if you cannot realistically get it done with everything that you have going on already, then just say NO. Trust me you will save yourself any undue stress in the long run.
10. Change Your Environment
Sometimes what is causing your stress and anxiety is your environment. Take the time to treat yourself to a vacation. Go to the beach, the mountains, an amusement park, a foreign country, and so on. In some cases, you may need to move from your current location and get a fresh start. Your environment may be toxic and is only adding to your stress.
11. Get A Pet
Pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, and so on can be a great addition to your life because they can pick up on your mood and give you some much-needed comfort. Dogs can reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that you are feeling just by being there. Find you a pet and cuddle up with it.
12. Listen To Music
This has to be one of my favorites because I absolutely love music. Sometimes we need to listen to music. I find it helpful to listen to music without words in it because words can cloud your mood and cause you to feel a certain way. Instrumental music can help reduce stress by quieting your mind and soothing you. Here is a Spotify list that my friend created that I recommend.
click me: Try This playlist!
**I hope everyone has a safe and blessed week and I will see you all on Saturday for our Weekly Topic Saturdays**
~Just Breathe...A Golden Dream~