Mental stress can leave you feeling anxious, stressed out, and fearful. The first step in combating our stress is to let go. Surrendering provides the space to calm the mind. When we surrender, we are choosing our well-being over everything else. Remember, your health is so important. When you are in a bad headspace, it can lead you down a destructive path. The only way to begin this process is to relinquish control. We can start releasing our pains, worries, and frustrations through a few simple acts each day. Here are seven ways to reduce mental stress quickly.
Exercise is a great mental stress reliever. Those who exercise regularly have had life-changing experiences, as it has offered them relief from physical and emotional ailments that they had trouble combating through other methods. One great exercise to try is yoga. Much of yoga has to do with stretching, building, and strengthening through a series of postures and poses coordinated with deep breathing. The benefits include increased flexibility, improved muscle tone, calmness, and lower stress. To many people, including Christians, the practice has many positive aspects. We know from scripture that God made our bodies and charged us with taking good care of them. Mindfulness in yoga is focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. In other words, it is paying attention to what is around you without getting hooked on the past or worrying about the future.
Countless Bible verses mention hope. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you says the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future.” Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” We know from scripture that there is power in hope. Now, the medical world is backing up this notion. Some studies show that hope can reduce anxiety. Having hope, particularly in times of trial, can draw us closer to God and help eliminate the fear we are holding in our hearts. Anxiety is not easy, but when we have hope, it can help us through it.
Focus on Breathing
Did you know that focusing on your breathing or changing your breathing can make a big difference to your overall stress level? You can devote just a few minutes a day to breathing techniques and adjustments. Doing this can calm your body and your brain. One great thing about doing them is, no one around you will even know you are doing them. No matter what stressful situation you are in, breathing exercises could be key to reducing your stress. Try breathing in through your nose until your belly fills with air. Count slowly to three as you inhale. Hold for one second and then slowly breathe out through your nose as you count to three. Repeat this until you feel yourself calming down. This is a great way to reduce stress throughout the day.
Believe in Miracles
One big way to reduce anxiety is to trust in miracles. When you are struggling with anxiety and facing tough situations, God wants you to remember that miracles happen. These miracles show up in every dream that you have that comes true, in every enlightening moment you have, in every person who has moved or transformed your life, and in every person you love. God is making miracles happen, even in the smallest moments. Miracles will not always be big. Sometimes, they are small. He is bringing you small miracles so that you can believe in the bigger ones. Look around you. When you look for the small miracles, you will see that they are everywhere.
Art is a great mental stress reliever. If you had a creative side during your childhood, but you have lost touch with it later in life, now is a great time to pick it back up. You do not have to be into drawing or painting either. If picking up a brush is not your thing, consider coloring in a coloring book. Adult coloring books have risen in popularity. One of the big reasons for this is because they are a great stress reliever. There is a great amount of research that supports that coloring can have a meditative effect. A study found that anxiety levels decline in people who were coloring complex geometric patterns, making it a perfect outlet for stress reduction.
Listen to God
Whenever you speak, God is listening to you, including your concerns and needs. Even when you doubt that God is listening, He always proves that He is. If you are struggling with anxiety, it is important to remember not only that God is listening to you, but also to listen to God. Listening to Him begins with a genuine desire to hear from Him. God has spoken to us through those who were inspired to write the words of scripture. His Word is still going forth and speaking to us. Our choice is whether we will heed the message of Bible verses about listening to God and listen to those around us who speak His Word. He doesn’t have a dial that he turns up and down when He feels like not tuning in. Sometimes, you need to turn the volume of the world down to hear God’s voice. When life gets hard, allow His voice to speak over your fears.
Believe That You Are Bigger Than Your Mental Stress
One of the greatest ways to combat mental stress is to challenge it. While it is easy to live in your comfort zone, it’s not the best way to live, especially when trapped in your fear. Pinpoint the fear that’s plaguing you the most – about your body, finances, love life, career, dreams, or yourself – and hold it up to the light out your awareness. Then, release it. Not doing the things that frighten, you will increase the likelihood that your fears will become bigger – and take over your life. It can even be something small you choose to do but do something daily that challenges you to step outside of your norm. When you form the habit of doing something daily that scares you, your courage will begin to grow little by little. After some time, the barriers that once were holding you back will vanish.
Worrying and fearfulness gives way to anxiety and uneasiness, allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles in life. When we let go of this energy in our lives, we can find peace. Instead of focusing on your fears and worries, focus on the presence of everything around you and how insignificant our problems are when it comes to the grand scheme.