Too Blessed To Be Stressed

5 Ways To Give ThanksStress. It comes without warning! How can we stop the stress in our lives?  That is the question everyone wants to know. There are many theories everything from, “Read X-Y-Z book and you’ll be all set,” to “Just pray and give your worries to the Lord.”

Either of these things may work but I’ve realized what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Life that is worth living is life that expects the unexpected and allows us to be thankful each and everyday.

We only know what today holds.

Truthfully – most of us say, “I’m too stressed to feel blessed!”

Try turning that around! I heard the most amazing talk by Melanie Wilson, the featured guest on Mommy Jammies Night who shared her talk,  “Too Blessed To Be Stressed” right here. [If it is before Tuesday November 10th – please come back later when the podcast will be live!] In her show she explained that all the ways people talk about dealing or coping with stress often fall short.

When we are stressed our bodies shut down.

How do you look at stress? How do you cope? When you look at these ways objectively you will have insight on how to deal with stress in a way that turns the frown upside down (sorry I just had to!).

Some people turn to pills or drink when they are stressed. Others turn to God. Which one are you?

Turning to God helps in so many ways, however, often we expect our prayers to be answered instantly and when they are not we are angry or say, “God doesn’t hear me.” Oh, He hears you – loud and clear. We expect immediate gratification. And, why not? We live in an instant society. While drive-in theatres are a thing of the past for most of us, there are many places we can “drive in” in order to get what we need: food, money, dry cleaning, groceries, etc.

Several years ago when I was going through a particularly hard time, I was writing another set of prayer petitions to the Lord in my prayer journal, when I felt His gentle voice saying, “What about praise?” And so, I turned to a new page and began writing all the ways I was thankful. My prayer journal turned into a Praise Journal that I kept daily. In it I began to chronicle all the things I was thankful for. It is a wonderful exercise to do each evening. At the end of the day, we can look back and be thankful.

What are five ways you can give thanks? Here are a few to get you started. Please use this as a jumping off point and see where it takes you!

  1. Begin a Praise Journal
  2. Compliment others
  3. Make a thankful tree
  4. Write notes
  5. Look for things you can be thankful for

Praise Journal: Praise the Lord, daily. It is easy to begin a praise journal – it is another thing to be diligent and write in it daily. Ask me how I know 🙂 This is probably the best way to help you to be thankful and happy with today. No one knows what tomorrow holds, but today is what we do know and being thankful daily will change your life and the lives of those around us. Thankful people are the happiest.

Compliment others: For some it comes very easy to be complimentary. For others, it takes work. Make an effort to lift others with your words. If we are in God’s Word it is easier for us to be joyful and this will spill over, and onto others. Kindness is contagious and soon you’ll be teaching your loved ones a very valuable skill.

Make a Thankful Tree: Giving thanks comes in all shapes and sizes and this one is a visible sign that we can show our thanks on leaves tied to the branches of a tree for all to see and read. The children love this activity and it will cause them to think of ways to be more thankful.

Write Notes of Thanks: Hand-written notes are a thing of the past. Often we jot off an email as a way to thank people or message each other via text message or on Facebook. Try to send out a thank you note – or an I’m thinking of you note to someone you care for. It will make their day!

Look for Ways To Give Thanks: When we are looking for those things to be thankful for it seems they appear out of nowhere! Each evening my family gathers for prayers, a tradition we started when they were yet to be born. Now my youngest is fifteen, and we still gather – all of us and pray nightly. Then, we go around the room sharing what we are thankful for. Sometimes the kids say, “the weather” or “that the day is over.” While I’m not always happy with their response I try to leave the lessons for later and just smile and say, “Amen.”

It takes training and practice to understand being thankful comes in small packages and when you least expect it. I could be thankful when my mother died, not that she died (I still miss her after sixteen years!) – but that she died a beautiful death, with her entire family around her… sisters, brothers and her children and their spouses. How many people die alone? We have been jaded into thinking that we must have everything perfect before we can be thankful – or that once we attain some goal – a new car, a new house, etc., then we will be thankful.

No! Thankfulness is in the everyday. It is in a child’s smile. It is on the face of the older person who is thankful you let them go in line before you, your cart full of food and your noisy kids. It is in the sky with that brilliant sunset or rainbow.

Go create your own list and keep giving thanks. It will make your life kinder and happier. I promise.

~ Felice Gerwitz

 

Photo Credit: image Copyright 2015 DepositPhoto.com – @beholdereye

Comments

  1. Melanie, I’m looking forward to listening to you Tuesday! I know what stress can do and I’m always looking for helps to help me get through those times, like now. Thanks for your wonderful shows and for being willing to share.

  2. Thank you for this great list and reminders! I am most blessed when I can do something for someone else, even when it is as small as a thank you note or compliment.

  3. I am looking forward to having a mommy jammie night first and foremost! Having someone give their prospective on stress and ways to cope with it that we might not have used before. I love hearing othersgive their ideas. We sometimes get caught up in the stressful event and don’t venture out there to see other coping methods. Thank you for this!

  4. Judith Martinez says

    Giving thanks is such a great way to combat stress. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Love the starter list of 5 ways to give thanks – thank YOU for sharing it!

  6. Wendy McCullough says

    Praising the Lord is a great way to relieve stress

  7. Melanie this was a great reminder, I enjoyed listening.

  8. Great tips on dealing with stress and redirecting your thoughts.

  9. These are some great ideas! I pray every morning after taking the kiddo to school but stress can still take a hold of me. Thanks for some great tips!

  10. Wow! This was good. Sometimes we need a gentle reminder about being thankful, instead of always looking at the problems we face. I read this at the perfect time. I have family coming in to visit this week and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done. On top of that, the kids have been acting up, and I have been feeling discouraged with homeschooling. But God always finds a way to show me His face and this was a blessing to read. Thanks for the encouragement!

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