Coping with Stress: Healthy Ways to Feel Better

I kid you not, the other day I was driving and saw Christmas decorations sitting in someone’s front yard. Seriously. CHRISTMAS. DECORATIONS. In the first week of October. A few days before that, I was walking through a local store watching my wife stare in wonder at all of the Christmas decor on the shelves. It got me to thinking about the stresses that come with preparing for the holidays, and how many times we try to mentally prepare for the stress we’re going to endure.

Luckily, there are healthy ways of coping with stress that can help you make it through the holiday season, or any other situation you may be dealing with in life.

1. Take care of yourself

coping with stressThe goal of coping with stress is that hopefully your anxious feelings will subside in a few days (or at most a few weeks). To do so, you have to remember to take care of your body. The Centers for Disease Control recommends:

  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out

Many times, when we feel stressed, we tend to either overeat or under-eat. We can become lethargic or develop insomnia. Or, we try to just “push through” without taking the time to understand what our body is trying to tell us. Most often, we ignore the signs.

2. Talk to others

Find other people who you can talk to and trust. Learn what they do to help alleviate their stressful situations. Share your heart with a parent, friend, pastor, or yes, even a counselor (hint hint – you can easily schedule an appointment with me online). Working through these challenges and feelings with a trustworthy helper can help to alleviate a lot of what you’re feeling.

3. Avoid drugs and alcohol

Drugs and alcohol will lie to you. They’ll tell you that they’ll make the stress go away and help you to “forget” about what’s happening. In reality, they typically create additional problems and increase the stress you’re already feeling. And, you run the risk of addiction and challenging health issues down the road. Seriously. Just say no.

4. Take a break

coping with stressThe longer you remain in a stressful situation, the longer it will take to relieve the issue. I realize that may seem obvious, but how often have you known exactly what’s causing you stress and still don’t move away from it? If your stress is caused by family members, consider looking for ways to put up healthy boundaries; If it’s caused by a work situation, consider taking a mental health day if your have the vacation or sick time available (yes, those are really okay), and if you’re struggling with a local or national event (politics anyone?), consider taking breaks from listening to or reading news stories.

Finally, remember that God is ready and willing to help you through your stressful time, no matter what you’re going through. All you have to do is ask Him and invite Him into your situation.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” – Psalm 34:17-19
 HAVING TROUBLE COPING WITH STRESS? Let’s work together to help alleviate your stressful situation. Call us, message us on Facebook, or schedule your appointment here. Sessions are available in Owensboro and Online. It’s time to get your life back.

Who am I? Learn by taking off your mask

OWENSBORO, KY – “I am so stressed out,” a client once told me.  “I love ministry.  I love preaching and teaching people about God’s Word.  But it is exhausting.”

This client, a seminary student, was in a situation many of us have found ourselves in.  “I really love the calling to share the Gospel with people,” he said, “But I really don’t like having to talk to them afterwards.”

Like us, what this young man didn’t realize is that he was acting a certain way because of the personality mask he created, and he wasn’t acting the way God created him to be.

Has God called him to share the Word?  Absolutely.  Is he supposed to share that message with others?  I certainly believe so.  But he thought that because he grew up in a family full of extroverts he thought he had to be one too.  He thought that he had to put on a show and be happy-go-lucky to everyone, all the time.  This left him asking, “Who am I?”  That was, until he learned something:

It was time to take of the mask.

A lot of us try to live by and out of our personality.  This personality or mask that we put on for the world likely isn’t who we are.  Usually, it’s the facade that we put on for people.  What if, instead, we begin acting in the way that we really are?

Well, Zakk, that sounds like an interesting concept.  But how in the world am I supposed to do that?

I’m so glad you asked.

Through the gift of Temperament, an understanding of how God created us, including why we feel the way we do, why we react to situations the way we do, and why we do or don’t care about others’ opinions of us.

sarasota academy

The Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling develops the APS Temperament report.

According to the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counselors, the organization responsible for the APS Temperament theory and process, knowing your Temperament has several benefits, including:

  • Identify what causes relationship conflicts and how to resolve them
  • The secrets of human behavior and how God’s wonderful plan works when understood and applied
  • A successful five-step method for counseling those who turn to them for help

Through understanding your Temperament, you’ll learn how to apply these principles to your life and learn how to take off the mask. With this knowledge, it gives you the freedom to operate in the way God created you to be while giving you an understanding of your true self.  And you don’t have to be a pastor or seminary student to benefit.

Stop living in anxiety.  Stop living in the fear of not being good enough.  Stop trying to live up to others’ expectations.  Don’t feel that you have to go on any longer living in the way others expect of you if it’s not who you really are.

To begin the process of truly understanding yourself, get in touch with us or make an appointment.