Insights & Resources for Christian Counseling & Personal Growth

Managing Stress - Bradley Roark

Published May 8th, 2020 by Bradley Roark

Stress is created when we have more demands than resources to meet those demands. In our current climate, there are a lot more demands on us. Limited resources are now the new normal. From working from home to lost wages with increased bills to homeschooling...the list is ever-growing. Our strategy is two-fold: we can reduce the demands, and we can increase our resources. We can acknowledge that we cannot control the demands and resources exclusively, but we can control some aspects of both.

To manage the demands and our resources we need to retreat, replenish, and reframe. When we retreat we are addressing both the demands and the resources. By removing ourselves from a stressful situation we are both removing some of the demand for our resources and in turn, are creating resources to be used later. In conjunction with retreating, replenishing is seeking activities and environments that feed our soul by combating the sources of our stressors and renewing our energy. When we have significant energy regeneration, the demands do not create stress but rather can actually feel fulfilling. Reframing is to look for the value of a stressful situation. Someone may be demanding from you more than you have to give, but by reframing our thoughts we can acknowledge that we are a valuable part of the solution which can turn a stressful situation into one that can be encouraging. 

These actions may take some practice to realize the full effect of the stress release, but over time these actions can become well-developed skills. One of the major challenges of living and thriving in current times is managing our stress levels in a complex world with many demands and expectations. Stress can have many positive effects too such as challenging us to perform at higher levels, motivating us, keeping us at our peak, and focusing our thoughts and behaviors to reach an important goal. We will always feel stressed from time to time, but if we learn to retreat, replenish, and reframe, we can manage it like a pro!

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