Anyone who says ministry is not stressful isn’t in ministry. At times, ministry can be very stressful, and that’s not good for your body. There is some stress we can eliminate through planning and avoiding volatile situations, but the rest we need to learn to deal with. Here are a few suggestions for dealing with stress you can’t avoid.
1. Focus on God. It sounds easy, but that doesn’t mean it is. Faith is a great stress releaser because if we know God is in charge, we won’t get stressed by as much. Also when we focus on God, we allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
2. Take deep breaths. If you’re in an intensely stressful situation, take deep breaths. It will help. I don’t know why, but it does.
3. Exercise. Studies have shown exercise releases stress. Take a walk or start an exercise program. It’s also good if you work at a desk or computer all day, to take a break every hour and get up and walk around or do something physical.
4. Take some me time. Read a novel or work on a hobby. Take a couple of hours each week to do something you enjoy even if you have to schedule it into your calendar.
One thought on “4 Ways to Deal with Stress”
Thank you for posting this. I do a lot of training on stress and concur with everything you’ve said. I wanted to comment on #2 and why deep breathing works. When we are under stress for most of us our breaths get higher and higher in the chest. Ever have a stressful day and at the end of the day your shoulders are aching? When under stress our brains fire off harmful chemicals and hormones. Breathing from the diaphragm allows our breathing to be slower and to go deeper thus calming our bodies and our brains. It also sends the calming chemicals to the brain.
Breathing from the diaphragm also helps children calm down. I tell kids to pretend like they are blowing up a balloon in their tummies. Breathe in through the nose to fill up the balloon. Then release it by letting the sound a balloon makes when you let the air out come out their mouths. Little boys especially love this.