Monday, October 18, 2010

The Journey...To Handling My Stress!!!

Stress is not a four letter word, but it's still evil. In fact, I like to say that stress started out as a four letter word, but when it wanted to take over the world it expanded to six letters just to make things worse for us. There are actually some good things about stress, because if we never felt any at all we would just sit around and chill all the time...nothing would ever get done. In a way, stress makes the world go round.

But stress to the other extreme is just as bad. When we let it take over our lives, we panic. We discover that we have so many things to do that we give ourselves headaches, stomachaches, and other ailments. Sometimes we just say "forget it" and don't accomplish any of the stuff on our list. We eat, smoke, or drink, to make ourselves feel better...and forget about all of those things that still await us and need to be done. While it's good to take a break every once in a while to recharge our batteries, being in chronic break mode leaves us defeated. More work piles up on top of what we didn't get done yet, making the stack of stress even heavier to carry around.

There are times when it feels like stress is my middle name. I've thought about getting my middle name changed legally to Stress on my birth certificate, but that would cost money that I don't have and only add to my stress. Since I was diagnosed with psoriasis, I have discovered in my research on the subject that there is a strong link between this ailment and stress. I shouldn't have been surprised, but seeing it in black and white still gave me a jolt. The prescriptions that my doctor gave me are really helping, and I can see quite a reduction in the patches on my skin already. If I don't want to keep having recurrences, however, I'm going to need to learn to manage my stress better.

Part of this journey is discovering just how much I worry about things and knowing that I need to give that over to God. Keep working hard, listen for His instructions, and He will do the rest. Since He led me to hunt down my pedometer and start moving more, that has been helping with my stress and led to breakthroughs. I'm now up over 7,500 steps a day and going strong. Having this step goal to concentrate on causes me to think less about what usually makes me worry, and getting more exercise definitely relieves some stress. God is working within me in so many ways, and as long as I remember to take each step with Him, the stress enemy will not win!

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