Simply Address to De-stress

New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make them, and by now, many have broken them. We resolved to read through the Bible, but came down with a vicious cold, stayed in bed, and are now several chapters behind schedule. We determined to start a walking program. Snow and black ice kept us inside. We set a goal to lose weight, but couldn’t pass up our friend’s enticing dessert. Our failed attempts to resolve to change, led to stress.

I traveled a few thousand miles to visit family during the holidays and was gone nearly three weeks. I had gifts and clothing to pack and since I was going to cold climates, needed clumsy boots. My “stuff” wouldn’t fit in my usual suitcase. I tried packing a carry-on too, but the weight was too much for me to lift in the overhead compartment. I packed and unpacked, rearranged and eliminated. Packing was a challenge. With each attempt, I was beginning to stress.

Then an idea came to me. Buy a larger suitcase.

I did. Everything fit, and I used a small hand held carry-on for a few items.

It was a simple decision that alleviated stress. It got me thinking. What else do I need to I need to simply address to de-stress?

The Psalmist David wanted to de-stress and he did it by addressing. His powerful and life-changing prayer in Psalm 139: 13-14 tells us, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

We can follow David’s lead to remove anxious thoughts and simply address to de-stress. Each decision we make begins with a thought. We may discover that…

     Although our decision to read the Bible through in a year is noble, perhaps, reading until the Spirit speaks to me or simply moving the bookmark each day, may be a reasonable goal, even if it takes two years, not one.

     Choosing to walk three days a week and not six, may be more attainable.

     Determining to have one dessert a week, instead of totally eliminating sweets, may be a workable strategy.

     Inviting friends for pot-luck instead of cooking the entire meal, gives the results I want—socializing.

     Writing a To Do list with priorities on a calendar gives me structure and shows accomplishment.

     Checking Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram once a day, and not multiple times guards my time and my mind.

Is it time to revise New Year’s resolutions? Can we begin with a “search prayer” to address? Can we follow God’s lead in setting our priorities and goals and remove the anxious thoughts, so we de-stress?

Sometimes it’s as simple as deciding to buy a new suitcase.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on addressing to de-stress. What extraordinary treasure did you find? Email me and let me know. I’ll post next month.