Archive for the ‘stress managment’ Tag

You Know Enough

Reading: See Below

I hate moving.  I hate having to look for a place to live, I hate trying to find someone to take your place, I hate trying to figure out how you will go from A to B, and I hate trying to figure out how you are going to pack all the stuff you just unpacked not too long ago.

If I had to boil it down to the basic reason of why moving is so stressful for me, it is that I can’t stand not knowing what is going to happen.  It’s a big change and there are so many unknowns.  I don’t do well with unknowns – I like to have as much as possible planned down to the detail.

So, as I watched this video today it helped remind me that although I don’t know everything, I know enough:

While moving, I may not know how every little detail – or even some big details – will turn out.  But, I know enough to get us there and I don’t really need to worry about how every little thing will work out.  The same goes for the gospel – I may not know the exact meaning of every line of scripture, or how every little thing will happen in the next life, but I know that the gospel is true and that God will take care of me.

Today I am going to chill a bit from all this moving work and take a little time to relax and think about or work on bigger things, like my family and the gospel.

Is there a situation where you didn’t know everything, but it turned out you knew enough to get through it? Are there gospel concepts you don’t totally understand yet?  How do you handle those?

Finding Joy in the Journey

Reading: “Finding Joy in the Journey,” President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, Nov 2008

Just before I sat down to write this post, I was feeling overwhelmed by all the things buzzing around in my head that I really wanted and needed to do today.  So, I wrote them all down in a list on a piece of scratch paper.  In an effort to be realistic about what I could get done today I then wrote next to each item the amount of time it would take to accomplish each task.  I felt too discouraged to add it all up, but I know if I had it would have been enough tasks for at least three days, maybe more.

Then, in an effort to learn about gratitude I decided to read “Finding Joy in the Journey,” a talk given by President Monson at the last general conference.  In this talk President Monson lovingly asks us to pay more attention to the people in our lives and to “find joy in the journey.”  He said,

I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.

It seemed to me that while I was praying for a way to get everything done, God is trying to tell me to stop driving myself so hard and to choose the better part.  I am also reminded of the scripture Luke 10:40-42:

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Today I am going to take this timely counsel and try to find joy in my journey.  Specifically, I will take a five minute break every hour or so just to pay attention to what is going on around me and to be more grateful for my blessings and my family.

How do you get past your to do list and enjoy your daily life?  What helps you to find joy in the journey?

Hope: A Beacon and Light

Reading: “The Infinite Power of Hope,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, October 2008 General Conference, Saturday Morning Session

When we are in the midst of trials, it is sometimes tempting to believe that things will never get better.  We may feel that we are under a great storm and the storm will be the end of us.  The thing that can get us through these storms is hope.  When we do not give into the belief that things will get worse, we do so because we have hope.

Elder Uchtdorf’s talk is very encouraging.  He tells of a time in his own life when he went through some serious trials.  He also teaches the importance of hope in a gospel-centered life.

Sometimes when I read about having hope, and I am feeling particuarly stressed or down, I end up feeling guilty.  I get the idea that I do not have hope because I am feeling bad, so I must be doing something wrong.  However, today, I realized this is not the case.  Hope does not mean not having trials, it means having trials but still choosing to act on the principles of the gospel with hope that they will lead me to greater happiness.  A lack of hope would mean I give up on living the gopsel when I feel discouraged, having hope means I keep going in doing what’s right even when I do feel discouraged.

I also identified with Elder Uchtdorf’s comment at the end of his talk:

Each time a hope is fulfilled, it creates confidence and leads to greater hope. I can think of many instances in my life where I learned firsthand the power of hope. I well remember the days in my childhood encompassed by the horrors and despair of a world war, the lack of educational opportunities, life-threatening health issues during youth, and the challenging and discouraging economic experiences as a refugee. The example of our mother, even in the worst of times, to move forward and put faith and hope into action, not just worrying or wishful thinking, sustained our family and me and gave confidence that present circumstances would give way to future blessings.

I know from these experiences that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ and our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that strengthen faith, offer a bright hope, and lead us to charity.

I also have had many times in my life where things seemed pretty bleak, sometimes because of relationships. sometimes because of my health.  Because I made it through those times it is much easier for me now to have hope in the gospel.

Today when I feel discouraged I am going to think back on other times in my life when it seemed that I would never overcome a particular trial, and remember how I either overcame it or it ceased to be such a big deal.

What does “hope” mean to you?

Stress Management

Reading: “Dealing With Stress and Discouragement,” Ensign, Feb. 1990

Yesterday we found out that we got the apartment we were hoping to get, and we will be able to move tomorrow evening.  As of this moment, I have not even started to pack.  While I’m very happy to be moving to a new place, it is also scary to face such a big change.  Moving is stressful.  So, today I read an article on how to deal with stress.

The article, which does not have an author listed, suggests several ways to deal with or reduce stress:

  • Be realistic in your expectations
  • Keep spiritually fit
  • Get out of debt
  • Set priorities and goals
  • Change habits and routines
  • Change your pace
  • Share your frustrations with friends or in a journal
  • Relax and enjoy life
  • Don’t forget humor

As a former sufferer of an anxiety disorder, I also have found many ways that are essential to me in dealing with stress.  These include:

  • Exercise
  • Purposeful relaxation (a.k.a. conscious relaxation, meditation, visualization, self-hypnosis, choose whatever name makes you feel most comfortable)
  • Journal writing
  • Daily scripture study
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Regular, healthy meals
  • Realizing that it’s perfectly okay to feel stressed out sometimes (or not getting stressed about being stressed)
  • Being willing to ask for help (whether it is help getting a problem taken care of, or professional help to overcome depression or anxiety)

One thing this article stated that I thought was a good point was that stress can be good for us, if we approach problems as challenges and if we do not try to do too much. I know I am much happier when I am enjoying a challenge than when I am bored with nothing to do.

Normally I would have tried to find an article that is more scripture based.  This article seemed more like a compendium of advice than an explanation of some scriptural topic.  However, it did fit what I needed to hear today.  So, today, I’m going to continue to give myself a break – we have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it!  It will be better if I relax and maybe let a few things slide than trying to do everything perfect in the limited time I have.

How do you deal with stress?  Everybody has different ways of relaxing, and what works for me may not work for you.  Still, if you’ve found some great way to deal with stress I’d love to hear it!