Relieve Stress by Putting a Lid on It
Can I relieve stress by putting a lid on it? That doesn’t sound like a viable solution. We all know what happens when one puts a lid on a boiling pot with no way to let off steam. It eventually explodes.
Each day we live comes generously supplied with its very own stress, anxiety, and frustration as well as moments of joy, relaxation, and blessing. The Bible tells us that every day has enough trouble of its own (Matt. 6:34). So, how do we NOT transfer the trouble from one day into the next?
If I continue to piggy-back each day’s problems into the next, I will in due time exceed my capacity to handle it and explode. It’s not pretty when that happens. I discovered a solution a long time ago that works well for me. I relieve stress by putting a lid on each day. I’m not saying that I fail to work through situations and attend to daily life; I am saying that I don’t allow stress, anxiety, and frustration to accompany me into the next day of my life. For me, this requires God and journaling.
My daily early-morning writing in a journal helps me process my thoughts, any anxiety or confusion that may be present, and provides relief and healing as I focus on the new day. Therefore, I close out one day and open a new day. Yesterday is history and safely in God’s hands. I journal for me, not for some future generation who may stumble on my cache of daily reflections and not care.
What is God doing in my life today, and what am I learning about Him, His Word, life, and me? I pen my struggles, questions, and details of the day. Writing clarifies even when life is in complete disarray. It helps me sort through the loose and dangling ends of yesterday and prepare for whatever today holds. What I think and how I feel emotionally is important to me and God.
Perhaps your life today is an accumulation of ongoing stress and anxiety with no relief in sight. Try this: 1) Ask God for help and open your Bible. 2) Purchase a composition notebook or journal/book without words. 3) At either bookend of your day, talk to God in prayer and listen to Him by reading His Word. 4) Then write whatever is on your heart and mind. 5) Repeat the next day.
In retrospect, my life is not one enormous container sporting a tightly screwed on lid, but many smaller vessels each with its own crown. I live one day at a time with its blessings and challenges, not dwelling on yesterday and not worrying about tomorrow. With God’s help, I live in the day, because I don’t want to miss today.
Yes, I relieve stress by putting a lid on it, yesterday that is, one day at a time and every day. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34).