Answer yes or no to the following questions:
1. Do you sometimes take on more tasks than you should? ___
2. Do you often have trouble sleeping or getting to sleep? __
3. Do you have headaches frequently? ___
4. Do you sometimes put off doing things? __
5. Do you often feel fatigued or exhausted? __
6. Do you sometimes get irritable when you have too much to do? ___
7. Do you get sick more often than you used to?
8. Do you neglect to eat well and get some exercise? ___
9. Do you often have muscle tension in your neck, jaw or back?__
10. Do you ever feel like giving up when you are overwhelmed? __
If you answered 3 or less you have a low stress level.
If you answered 4 -5, you have some stress abut it doesn't rule your life.
If you answered 6-7, you realize you are pushed in many directions and need to get a handle on it before your stress level rises even more.
If you answered 8-10 you are TOO stressed and need to determine how to remove some commitments.
You can change your stress level. Did you know that? Our greatest way to begin removing stress is to make priorities and remove commitments that aren't urgent and important. It's learning to be okay with not being everything to everyone. It's ok to say, "no."
Another way to lower your stress level is to lower your expectations. When I first married, I thought I had to cook like Martha Stewart every night. (Ha ha!) No one told me to think this way nor did my husband expect it, but when I didn't deliver the high expectations created in my mind, I got upset at myself and it came out in my attitude. I made stress for myself when there was nothing to stress about. "Why did I have grandiose expectations in my mind," I thought. The way magazines and cooking shows present women to cook and live is not reality. It's for entertainment. Since then, I have learned to cook for real! Sometimes women think they have to meet their own expectations in their mind when clearly no one else knows about them nor expects them. It's ok to say, "Go with the flow."
Stress begins to take its toll on our mind and body when we don't acknowledge we lack control over things we can't change. Truth is, there are situations in life we waste time worrying over when we know there is no way to fix the problem. It's ok to say, "I can't change it."
Some easy ways to remove stress
- go for a walk
- meet a friend for lunch
- take a short nap and think of nothing
- remove commitments-(only take on commitments you can keep and give all your attention to)
- go on a picture taking scavenger hunt- (look for wildflowers, old buildings, old signs, etc...to take pictures of)
- laugh (learn to laugh at yourself and life-get a book, CD, DVD that makes you laugh)
- journal your feelings
A De-stressing Challenge
- Carve out some time in your day this week and go to a new place with your bible. (A change of scenery is good and to be away from anything that reminds you of stress helps you to have a clear mind. )
- Take a notebook and write down all the things that are stressing you in your life at present. Rank the things in life that give you the most stress and make it a focus to rid yourself of these stressful situations. Focus on the top two things that are stressing your life. (Ask yourself these questions: "Do I have control over this situation?" If yes, ask God what changes you need to make. If no, be ok to move on with life and not place undue stress on your mind and body stressing over somerthing you can't change. Then ask yourself," Are there some commitments I need to rid myself on and focus on less commitments where I can give all my time and attention?" Make the changes. Last, ask yourself, "Are my expectations real or fairy tale?" Make truth the focus of your life instead of unattainable expectations. )
- Pray aloud and give each stress to God.