Stress enters everyone’s lives for multiple reasons. I know I have battled stress, and I am sure everyone else has too. There are several ways to handle stress. Some good some bad. It is important to handle the stress well, and if possible grow from the stress. This post will go through some things that help me handle and grow from stress.
Talk to People About Your Stress
If I keep things bottled up, it makes me feel like I am ashamed of things. That makes me feel even worse. If I talk to people about it, at least I know that I am not ashamed of it. Also, I know that I am doing things to actively get out of stress. Thinking that stress is unavoidable and unescapable, is a horrible feeling. I will text someone that I am stressing and need to talk about it. Once I send that message, I have to talk about the stress whether I want to or not. It forces me to and makes it so I can not chicken out later. I strategically burn bridges as an effective way to back me into a corner, so I will do the right thing whether I want to or not.Talking to other Christians can be a huge help, because they will say things I know are true, but have a hard time hearing.
Being consumed about stress is no good. When a stressful situation happens, realize that you will not make good decisions. It is better to distract yourself with other stuff, and let your emotions settle, then to get all wrapped up in the stress. I know that when my body is full of emotions, my decision making is impaired. So being distracted will help the emotions settle, so later I can handle the stress effectively.
Read The Bible and Pray
I know it sounds cliché, but knowing that God is in control, and all your problems are tiny in comparison of the world helps. When I am going through hard times, that is when I grow. So I pray that I can take this opportunity to grow. To grow spiritually and emotionally. I do not really grow all that much when I am comfortable. I do not believe that as Christians we are called to be comfortable. I have actually prayed to prepare myself for hard times that have not happened yet. In the past, I have gotten comfortable, and I knew that God was going to throw something stressful at me soon to grow me. I did not know where it is coming from, but I knew it was coming. So praying that stress will not overtake me, but instead force me to grow is a good prayer to pray.
Take this opportunity to learn some things about yourself. When going through some rough times, a friend pointed out that I tend to project my feelings onto other people. When they said that, I researched all the coping mechanisms. I looked at the list and found all the coping mechanisms that I use. I tend to use projection, altruism, and escapism. As far as coping mechanisms go, projection and altruism are not bad. I want to switch escapism to sublimation, but that will take some time and effort to get a switch like that. So using stress to learn more about yourself, will definitively help.
Even though stress through trials are hard, it helps us grow spiritually. Everything worry is temporary pain, but being able to grow closer to God is a great reward.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (ESV)
I know that is easier said then done, but if you are going to be in trials anyway, striving for growth is a good thing.