Do you need STRESS RELIEF?
Are you stressed? Is there something weighing on your mind? Is there some inner conflict? Is there something happening in your life and you don’t know how things will work out? You are not alone! At some point in time everyone experiences a certain degree of stress. Feelings actually lets you know that you are still here! A small amount of stress is actually healthy. It keeps you on your toes and motivates you to shift. Do you need stress relief?
Life today can be quite complex at times. There are many pressures on varying diverse levels, more so at times for some. You can actually worry yourself sick. To name a few stress affects your happiness, brings on acne, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, high blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiety, impacts your sex drive as well as hampers your infertility. If you are experiencing a significant amount of stress don’t wait until you are completely over whelmed to find some relief. Conflict and stress are a normal part of life. If your patience is getting close to nil know; you are reaching your limit. Don’t wait until you explode and get really angry to express yourself. This will only further complicate the situation. While angry and out of control you say and do things that can be destructive. Begin to shift.
Stress is defined as; “Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems.
Stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (to fight or flee). If we don’t take action, the stress response can lead to health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stresses are the most damaging types of stress.” medicine net.com
When you are stressed it becomes difficult to respond properly. Many often become verbally or emotionally abusive. For some they respond physically , in an inappropriate manner when they lack proper coping skills. When stressed you can become tense, it may be harder to concentrate, you may even get a headache or your heart begins to race. This is a clear indication that YOU NEED to shift. Here is something that will help you. Imagine a cup of ice cubes being slowly yet gently poured over your head. Allow yourself to feel the coolness of the ice gently melting over you. Begin to Allow your anger to subside. Please! Think before you respond!
When the pressures of life begin to get to you it is important that you get a grip on your emotions. No, I am not saying go into denial! How you feel is important. Your feelings need to be validated. Depression will result if you don’t. Depression is anger turned inside! When it gets to this point you may need professional help! Seek out resources for anger management if you have “out of control behavior.” Quite often you have learned some unhealthy dynamics that need to be changed. It may be hard for you to just say how you are feeling without being so angry. Your anger is a clear indication that you are also hurting. This will often result in something or someone triggering your anger and setting you “off.” If this is the case know that you are being controlled by remote. Learn how to stay “on” track!
Here are a few ways to relieve stress.
If you are stressed? It is important to begin to spend some quiet time to unwind. Writing a letter to anyone who has hurt you is good. Express exactly how you feel. This is for your eyes only. Then tear it up and throw it away! You can also get an empty chair; imagine that the person is sitting there, and say to whomever has hurt you how you feel. Take control and release any anger, hurt, shame or disapointment! You are now beginning to take out the trash that has begun to weigh you down. Listen to some relaxing music, exercising, or just taking a walk helps. You now have decided to no longer let what has happened to sit on the shelf of your mind and ferment! You are now beginning to move towards letting it go. This also heps you move towards wholeness.
If your family is stressed? Set aside some quiet time aside from the television or any outside distractions and have a family “pow wow.” Allow those concerned to briefly talk about how they are feeling. Then have them talk about how things can be improved. It is helpful to have one of the children to moderate you will be surprised. Your objective is to create a healthy, loving , open, nurturing, safe environment.
Is your marriage stressed? You need to set aside some quiet time where the two of you can calmly discuss what are the issues at hand. Rekindle that love that brought the two of you together! Restore the JOY of just being together. When two together row a boat it gets to the desired destination faster. Having a weekly date night is great as well! Remember you cannot change what has happened. But you can decide to go forward. Yes, you will probably have to revisit where you have been. But this is to remind you of where you do not want to stay or continue to go.
Is your job stressing you out? You need to make an appointment to talk to your supervisor, boss, employees or co workers and let them know how you are feeling. Make sure you are not angry when you do this. Find a neutral spot if possible. Writing down what you want to say will help you stay focused. If you feel that you may lose your thoughts or say something inappropriate reschedule. Graciously delay it until you are ready. The point is you want to take control not loose it. If they are not willing; it make be better to begin looking for employment somewhere else. If you don’t at some point your health will become affected working continuously under such poor conditions.
Incorporating prayer and meditating on the scriptures will yield much peace in your life. Actively implementing the principles are key to resolving inner conflict and stress. The scriptures were meant to point us to a better way of life. To develop a personal relationship with God our Creator. God has provided a wonderful plan of salvation for all who are willing to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Jesus is able to save you from the power of sin reigning in your life! Jesus came to show us that better Way! To help you discover your true purpose in life!
Stress again is a normal part of life. Taking the time to communicate your feelings in a healthy manner means you care. Redemptively confronting what ever the problem is or however you are feeling is always much better for you and those around you. Everyone has a not so good day from time to time. Don’t major in the minors! Just make sure that stress has not become the theme for your everyday lifestyle. Life is too short and precious to spend the majority of your time stressed! It is important to begin to work towards having a healthier balance in life. Begin moving towards creating a warm, more peaceful, safe and loving environment! Learning coping skills and ways to manage stress will also result in a healthier outlook as well as becoming healthier spiritually, physically and emotionally.
For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide.
What is happening to our Christian families? Codependency has become a major dysfunction. Families are experiencing a famine in the area of healthy nurturing. Let’s begin to break generational cycles of codependency. Why is this necessary? A person who is co-dependent is trapped in a compulsive cycle of control. They are usually over achievers who are virtually motivated by their desire to be loved. They often have been subject to major rejection in their early childhood. In order to feel a sense of security they will over extend themselves in many activities in order to gain the approval of others. It is very difficult for a co-dependent to deal with someone who they can not control. They will often even appear submissive in order to gain control of someone. This behavior is really manipulation in order to dominate.
The boundaries of a co-dependent are usually blurred. The hurts of childhood abandonment and rejection fuel their need to control. They have a great need as well to be the center of attention. Unable to let go of the past they really feel empty and unloved. They are usually high maintenance people. Their constant need of approval is countered by resentment when not satisfied since they suffer from low self-esteem. As I have said before and will say again and again “your true security and significance can only be found in God”.
For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide. Contrary to popular belief you are not required by God to participate in most man ordained auxiliaries especially at the expense of neglecting your family. Pastors as well as Christian workers who suffer from co-dependency must be careful not to be pre-occupied at the expense of not having some time for their own families. Your works should display your faith not someone else’s. Creating healthy boundaries are necessary. Spend some time developing your personal intimate relationship with God. Begin to implement His principles in your life. Grace and peace is multiplied when you increase your knowledge of GOD!
Consciously allow what God desires and requires of you to override your need to control and/ or gain the approval of others. Don’t be a people pleaser! God is not impressed by manipulation. Always examine your motives in the light of His WORD. Take charge by letting go, which is the opposite of controlling. Remember scripture says it is “the meek that will inherit the earth.” Meekness is not weakness it is power under control. Cycles are hard to break but with God even the impossible is possible.
The family system of a co-dependent usually has a powerful effect on their behavior dynamics. Often there is a scapegoat, a martyr and a hero in the co-dependent family. The scapegoat gives everyone something to focus on rather than deal with the real problem. The martyr sacrifices for everyone and feels sorry for themselves. The hero makes the family look good to outsiders. A multigenerational pattern of faulty unhealthy dynamics can appear as normal. Do you notice any generational patterns? Unconsciously the family will fight to keep these dynamics operating.
All families have an element of dysfunction. Destructive family dynamics have been in operation since the beginning of time. The story of Joseph tells how his Dad favored him over his brothers. Joseph’s father gave him a beautiful coat. This caused so much jealously between them that they designed a plan to destroy Joseph. His brothers called him a dreamer. Little did they know that the Lord had His hand on Joseph. God being in control worked this to good although their plans were evil. In the final analysis Joseph became the chief provider for his family as well as country. Eli was a priest. Although a servant of the Lord he had two sons who were outwardly rebellious. They disrespected not only the offerings but the people of God as well. I wonder how much time Eli spent nurturing his own sons?
Family secrets such as mental illness, incest, abuse and alcohol or drug addictions often go unaddressed in the co-dependent family. Denial becomes a survival dynamic for the family. This fosters an unhealthy physical as well as spiritual environment. Family secrets are often described as though one has a white elephant in the living room. Everyone just walks around it as though it doesn’t exist. Or they just avoid it altogether. Thinking it will just go away. It won’t! Christians need to take a stand and move to a higher level of functioning. We must learn to address the sin issues in our families and not continue to make excuses. Sin is anything that separates us from the Lord. God has promised to direct our paths when we put our trust in Him. We must learn to responsibly take responsibility.
God in His Omniscience is well aware of the shortcomings of all of us. We must look at the unhealthy dynamics in our family of origin and consciously find ways to abandon the generational cycles. Don’t continue to sweep things under the rug. Learn to confront issues as they arise. It’s never to late! Start by not supporting or reinforcing any unfavorable behavior. The truth must be faced to break free and enjoy the present.
Sometimes it is necessary to pursue professional assistance to resolve family conflict. A conscientious therapist should be well informed about inappropriate behavior. They objectively are able to recognize that the faulty behavior presented is really a mask for an underlying unmet need. The co-dependent needs to find a positive channel to release inner tensions. A family intervention is useful in most situations. Then proceeding to establishing a way in which their unmet needs can be satisfied is recommended.
In a Therapy environment a healthy atmosphere is crucial. The equal safety of the client and the safety of the therapist should always be a priority. A committed Christian therapist knows the importance of establishing healthy boundaries. A congruent environment implies that the therapist is trustworthy, genuine, integrated, and openly honest. There are many cultural differences that can inhibit a fluent understanding of the client. Stereotype thinking must be abandoned. Each client must be viewed as an individual. Labeling often changes peoples perceptions of others. There is a substantial diversity among any given group of people.
Christian therapy although not new is often unwelcomed from anyone other than the pastor in some instances. Many pastors who may be well-versed in scripture may not be equipped in some areas of counseling. Many on the other hand or overwhelmed by their ministerial duties. There are some pastors who should not counsel, especailly if there is a history of infidelity… The sincere efforts of a Christian therapist although well meaning may be often misconstrued as out of line and unwelcomed.
The use of small cell groups can often be quite therapeutic and beneficial for the co-dependent as well as for managing other interpersonal problems. A conscientious facilitator will maintain order and model control. Confidentiality and free expression should be encouraged. Conflict arises when individuals become resistant to someone’s insight or opinions that have been communicated. Uncontrolled anger is not welcomed in a cell group. Establish boundaries. Keep the group spiritually based. Making use of regular Bible study and prayer are key elements for success.
Emerging from codependency is painful. The compulsion to rescue dependent people is really a form of bondage. God never intended for any of us to be slaves to sin. Self-control is a fruit of His Spirit. His resources are unlimited. The co-dependent person first must acknowledge their compulsion to control. They must work towards redirecting their inclination towards other control to self-control. To seek healthy ways to have their unmet needs fulfilled. To process dispelling dysfunctional cycles this is a must. Don’t allow pride to hinder your progress. It is an obstacle to your well-being. God also hates pride it is an abomination to Him. Confess any known sin and press forward. It takes courage and a lot of hard work. It is in our weakness that we can become strong through God’s awesome power. God has left the Comforter which is His Holy Spirit to lead teach and direct you. Never forget God loves you! Take control by taking control of yourself. Learn the benefits of meekness. Know that your body is the Temple where God’s Holy Spirit resides. It is so very important to learn how to trust God, daily embrace HIS principles and know that everywhere you are GOD is always a prayer away. The truth really will set you FREE!!!