Have you ever had one of those days or weeks where you just want to pull all of your hair out or hide away in a closet where no one can find you? Or both? You've heard of several things that are supposed to handle stress - count backwards from ten, start doing yoga, long walks on the beach, blah blah blah. Not to be a downer, but whenever you fix your hair and come out of hiding, all of those same problems can create stress all over again. It's a vicious circle. Hair-pulling, check; hide in closet, check; yoga class, check; walk on the beach, check; then repeat.
There are only certain things that I get easily stressed about, so I don't pull my hair out about every little thing that goes wrong. I've found lately, though, that if I immediately just close my eyes for a moment and take a big breath before I freak out, I can sit down and think through the possibilities and steps I need to take to get through my latest stress-inducer. Now I've only tested this out just recently, but it seems to have helped a little bit.
The top stress-reliever though - God. If you start to look at the stressful and crazy things in your life from His point of view instead of your own, you start to see just how insignificant your problems are in the big picture. So step away from your situation for a moment and imagine the whole scenario as if you were looking through God's eyes. Totally different perspective, right? I can think of so many times that I got worked up over the smallest things that at the time seemed like mountains. I can imagine now that God probably just smiled and shook His head, knowing the great and wonderful things that He had in store for the future.
So don't get stuck in that vicious circle where God is not even included in the process. Beaches and yoga are great, but they are just temporary fixes; whereas God's love and His peace and His plea for us to come to Him for rest is steadfast and everlasting.
"Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever."
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."