118. 4 Strategies to Feel Less Stressed

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I recently shared some strategies on Instagram that have helped me to feel less stressed:

1) Recognize that in most cases, stress is a choice. No one can *make* me stressed (or angry or sad or happy, for that matter). I can choose my response in any situation. I can’t always choose my circumstances, but I can choose my response. And my response is my responsibility.

2) See stress as an indicator that something is out of line.
Instead of just assuming stress is a normal, unavoidable part of life, view it as a warning flag or check engine light. When I start to feel that tension rising in my chest, don’t just think, “Here we go again.

3) Ask myself: What am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way? Where is this coming from? I seek to go deeper than just the surface level feelings and keep asking why until I get to the root cause. For me, stress is almost always the result of me trying to micromanage or control something or someone in my life instead of resting in the Lord.

Note: So often, we want to just slap a bandage on stress (“take a bubble bath!” Or “eat some ice cream!”) instead of doing to work to dig into what’s underneath our stress and to unearth that and process through that so that we don’t just keep going back to the same feelings of stress over and over again.

4) Once I’ve identified the root cause of my stress, then ask: What can I do about this? Maybe some fresh air and sunshine or a nap or verbally processing with a friend or asking for help?

For me, one of the best things is for me to stop, set my timer for a few minutes, take some deep breaths, and literally verbally release the tension I’m feeling to God. To tell Him out loud exactly what I’m feeling and how I’m scared or worried or concerned or upset about a situation and then to verbally release that situation to Him and ask for His help. Many times, I will repeat this exercise a few times until I feel the weight lifting from my shoulders.

These four mindsets/strategies have completely reframed the way I view stress and have allowed me to live with a whole lot less tension and a whole lot more calmness — no matter what is going on around me!

After I shared this, so many of you resonated with it and responded to it that I wanted to do a podcast episode dedicated to sharing more and discussing this with Jesse (he has some different perspectives on things, which I think you’ll find helpful, too!)
Jesse and I also talk about having our first official driver, what’s saving our lives, and two books we are reading.

In This Episode: 

[00:33] This is the earliest we’ve ever recorded a podcast and we’re sharing strategies to stress less.  

[02:04] Kathrynne is an official driver!

[04:27] A reader wrote in to share why she gets a laugh out of our introduction.

[07:17] A pill crusher is saving Jesse’s life right now. Learn why!

[09:16] Bonus life-saver for our new little baby boy: an infusion pump. 

[10:23] Just doing the next thing is saving my life because there is a lot going on.

[13:00] Jesse has a book update because he’s finally reading a new book!

[14:11] I recently finished listening to Before I Called You Mine.

[16:24] How stress used to define me.

[19:16] These four strategies have worked for me, but a caveat before we start talking about them…

[20:14] I had to recognize in most cases that stress is a choice. 

[23:13] Jesse clarifies the choice you have in reacting to stressful situations. 

[25:34] I’ve also learned to see stress as an indicator that something is out of line. 

[27:18] I now stop, ask myself what I’m feeling, and then take a moment to listen to my body. 

[30:45] Next, I ask myself what I can do about my stress triggers. 

[33:27] If I stop and acknowledge, I’m more likely to find peace around the situation.

Links and Resources:

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