Stress-buster

serenity prayer.jpg


I know that the many stresses in my life have contributed greatly to my current health issues.


One of the things I am trying to do is learn to manage stress better.  I found a new tool to use from an unlikely source.  Well, not unlikely exactly, as it’s a program to help control diet-related issues.  What was unlikely was that one of the emails from this site talked about God - and it was not a specifically-designated Christian site.


The suggestion was made to make a list of all the things that bother you - things you worry about - things that are troublesome in your life.  Then, make a list of the things that would serve you better to dwell on than the first list.


Then, every morning, read over the first list and give everything on the list to God - and then read the list that has the more positive things to focus your mind on.


I started doing this.  My list is pretty long.  (The suggestion was made to make sure your second list was longer than your first - so I did that, too!)


What I began to notice as I read through my list each morning, was that I could put the different problems into different categories.


I won’t bore you with my list, but I will share what I figured out.  My problems are either fears, frustrations, deal with loneliness and depression, or my lack of control is situations.


It was kind of enlightening to review the problems that way.  Sometimes, things were a combination of the above.


That led me to a next step.  Was there anything I could possibly do about some of the problems?


I realized that there were things I could do.  Maybe I couldn’t solve the problem on my own, but I realized that my own actions - or lack of them - often contributed.


Those items I highlighted and have begun to look at steps I can take.  And if there are no steps?


Pray and give them to God - and wait.


It’s amazing how much this simple little daily practice is helping me.  As I read this list to God and hand each thing over, I ask for wisdom if there is anything I can do.  And if nothing … I let go.


I’ve made a little checklist of sorts for things I can do.


Then, I turn the page and read the “good things” list I made.


That simple act of turning the page changes my focus.


I’m trying to make it a daily thing - an early in the day thing.  But, it’s something I can do anytime when I start to obsess over things I can’t change.


As I type this, I realize it is the Serenity prayer in action.


God, grant me the serenity 

to accept the things I cannot change, 

the courage to change the things I can, 

and the wisdom to know the difference.


Yup.


Definitely a stress buster.


I like the second part of the prayer, too.


Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

Amen.


Amen.


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