Something that has occured to me alot lately is that we have so much to do with OTHERS' stress levels.
We have mentioned our kids' and our hubbies stress, but beyond that we have so much that we can do over the stress of alot of people we come in contact with.
I have learned of myself recently that this is something I love doing. In fact, on the retrospect I realize that the reason I do SO many things is that I truly want to relieve stress in others. I want to take that tension from their chest, in so much as it depends on me.
As an RN in Critical Care, I especially love doing this for patients and their families. One of my favorite roles is to educate, inform and update. Why? Because information and attention to explaining relieves stress.
There are SO many ways that we can help to decrease the stress levels of those around us, be they friends, extended family members, the bagger at the grocery store, the customer service rep on the phone, the neighbor..etc.
Here are some thoughts ..
- Prayers. This promise, and the follow through really does relieve stress for people. Its a reminder that they are being remembered to God himself. How is that for stress relief?
- Cards/Emails. This is stress relieving for both parties I think. For me, it means that I have touched someone today. For them, they are reminded that they have touched someone enough to be remembered and thought of.
- Touch. This done appropriately is a great stress reliever. Hugs, hand squeezes, shoulder pats ..again, reminders that they are not alone in their struggle.
- Listening. Girls especially need to relieve their stress by talking! Being a good listener is a great way to be a stress-relieving friend :)
- Controlling your emotions and your reactions. This is a big one for every relationship you have. When negative things happen, especially, your control of your reactions can go a long way to relieve another's stress. Have you seen relief on a persons face when they expect you be angry or negative and you respond with a gentle or positive answer? I love that feeling.
- Sharing Scripture. God uses us to remind each other of his promises. Remember to stay alert when a scripture brings a person to mind, it could be God asking you to share with them.
- Example. I can relate to this one, as I have several people in my life who handle every day chaos with such grace. They relive my stress when I remember them, how they keep their priorities in line, they control their reactions, they stay positive and at peace...even though they dont have everything totally together :)
- Service. Being willing to serve each other is a big way to relieve stress for another person. Whether it be preparing a meal, keeping children so a weary mommy can get coffee alone, running errands for a shut-in, visiting someone in the hospital ..we can do so much for each other that will take the burden of stress from them.
- Forgiveness. I left this one for last, because I think its the hardest but one of the most important. Being able to give someone forgiveness is stress relieving for ALL involved. How much stress of yours is related to frustration over something someone has said or done? Your forgiveness gives you peace, and allows them peace as well.
A life full of peace cannot help but touch others with a sense of calm. I pray that you are seeking to do that. By decreasing our stress, we dont find peace..God is the only way to that. But, by our clearing our minds, spirits, bodies and hearts of stress we are more capable of being touched by the peace He brings us.
May you find many opportunities to decrease your stress level today, and make a difference in someone else's stress level as well :)