Today we’re gonna talk about: Happiness: Is it a True Stress Buster?
The other day I had the chance to hear Counselor Kelsey Hawk give a talk on stress and how it effects our lives. She said stress is the process by which we perceive something as overwhelming, and then we assess whether or not we can do something about it.
The stress can be positive or negative. For example, we experience stress when we get married, even though we’re in love and excited about this big change. We can also experience stress when we get into a car accident. Either way, our bodies don’t really know the difference between the good stress and bad stress.
The core issue becomes identifying our stress, understanding it, and then solving the problems surrounding it. I feel like I’m pretty good at identifying, and understanding my stress, but the missing component for me lies in solving the problems surrounding it. Maybe you feel the same way.
None of us can avoid all stress in our lives, but we can choose how we respond to it. That’s why I was so interested when Kelsey brought up Dr. Seligman’s ideas of positive psychology.
Now before I completely lose you, this isn’t about being a “Pollyanna” or even worse living life in denial, but it’s actually Biblical and really practical.
Essentially, happiness is the true stress buster because we are choosing to respond to the stress in our lives by taking positive action. If you’re really interested in going in depth on Dr. Seligman’s ideas you can read his book Flourish http://amzn.to/2iix2y5
For practical purposes, we can reduce our stress more effectively not by removing the circumstances, but by framing our approach to our situations.
Being optimistic about the past, present, and the future. I remember facing a particularly difficult time in my life and the best advice I received during that time was that I had the power over my thoughts. I could get on a train of thought that would lead me to despair and discouragement, or I could turn around and walk away from that train station, and refuse to get on that “train” of thought. This idea reminds me of Psalm 56:4 “I trust in God and am not afraid; I praise him for what he has promised. What can a mere human being do to me?” (GNT)
Building strong connection a with God and with one another is the best way to have a strong foundation when times are hard. These relationships can also be our source of greatest happiness and joy. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says that: Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. (NLT)
We all need a sense of purpose to feel happy and joyful. Romans 8:28 says: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)
Using our gifts and talents to help those around us. Hebrews 13:16 says: Don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. (NLT)
In the end, we get to choose what we focus on and although stress might be unavoidable, we have the opportunity to choose happiness and joy in the middle of difficult times.
Question and Action Steps:
What are your best stress busters? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
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