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Secrets of Stress Management

Sometime back, we noted that stress is a fact of modern life, and we shared Paul's five-point plan for stress reduction, recorded in Philippians 4:4-8. This time, let's examine seven secrets of stress management.

You cannot eliminate stress, but you can manage it. It's not how much you bear, but how you handle it that makes the difference.

Lord Jesus had enormous stress and pressure, yet it didn't disturb His peace of mind. Despite opposition, constant demands, and little privacy, His life reflected a calm sense of balance. How did He do it? Here are seven 'secrets' we can apply to our own lives.

1. Identification: Know who you are. (John 8:12)
Here's one of at least 18 times in the Gospels where Jesus publicly defines Himself. There was no doubt in His mind as to who He was. If you're unsure of your position and calling, you open yourself to others trying to pressure you into their moulds. Trying to be someone you're not causes stress.

2. Dedication: Know who you want to please. (John 5:30)
You cannot please everyone. Even God can't. Just when you get some people happy, others may be upset with you. Jesus never let fear of rejection manipulate Him. Be careful whom you want to please and why. Make it a priority to please God first in everything and then others.

3. Organization: Set clear goals. (John 8:14)
"I know where I came from and where I am going," said Jesus. Preparation prevents pressure, but procrastination produces it. You work either by priorities or pressures. Plan your work with clear goals to achieve. You'll be happy.

4. Concentration: Focus on one thing at a time. (Luke 4:42-44)
You can't chase two lizards at the same time! Jesus knew how to handle interruptions without being distracted from His primary goal. Be focussed.

5. Delegation: Don't try to do it all yourself. (Mark 3:14)
We get tense when we feel it all depends on us. Jesus enlisted 12 disciples. Involve others. You are not alone. God has put people around you to help you.

6. Meditation: Make a habit of prayer. (Mark 1:35)
No matter how busy Jesus got, He found time to be alone to pray every day. A daily "qiet time" is a great stress decompression chamber. Use it to talk to God about your pressures and problems, evaluate your priorities, and discover rules for successful living by reading the Bible.

7. Relaxation: Take time to enjoy life. (Mark 6:30-31)
Balance is the key to stress management. Work must be balanced with relaxation and worship. Allot sometime to just sit back and enjoy life.

Be encouraged.

**************************Letter # 41 (17.11.2002)*************
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