Saturday, September 29, 2007

Seven Secrets To Stress Management

By: Rick Warren

In today's workplace, stress is not an option. It's an integral part of the job description. There is an endless list of reasons why we can experience stress over the course of a day at work, at home, or even our leisure activities. But stress does not need to defeat us - it can be kept under control. Consider what Rick Warren has to offer in his ‘Seven Secrets Of Stress Management':

Do you ever feel like your life and schedule are out of control? You can't eliminate stress, but you can manage it. It's not how much stress you bear, but how you carry it that makes the difference. Jesus Christ experienced enormous stress and pressure, yet it didn't seem to disturb his peace of mind. In spite of opposition, constant demands and little privacy, his life reflected a calm sense of balance. What was his secret? A closer look at his lifestyle reveals seven key "stress busters":

1. PRINCIPLE OF IDENTIFICATION: Know who you are! Eighteen times Jesus publicly defined himself. There was no doubt in his mind as to who he was. If you are unsure of your identity, you will allow others to pressure you into their molds. Trying to be someone you're not causes stress! "I am the light of the world..." (John 8:12).

2. DEDICATION: Know who you want to please. You can't please everyone. Even God can't! Just about the time you get one group of people happy, another group will get upset with you. Jesus never let the fear of rejection manipulate him. No one can pressure you without your permission. "...for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me" (John 5:30).

3. ORGANIZATION: Set clear goals. Preparation prevents pressure but procrastination produces it. You work either by priorities or pressures. Jesus said, "I know where I came from and where I am going" (John 8:14).

4. CONCENTRATION: Focus on one thing at a time. You can't chase two rabbits at the same time! Jesus knew how to handle interruptions without being distracted from his primary goal. "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God...that is why I was sent" (Luke 4:42-44).

5. DELEGATION: Don't try to do everything yourself. We get tense when we feel it all depends on us. Jesus enlisted 12 disciples. Don't allow perfectionism, or the fear that others may do a better job than you can, keep you from involving others in the task. "He appointed twelve...that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach" (Mark 3:14).
6. MEDITATION: Make a habit of prayer. No matter how busy Jesus got, he found time every day to get alone to pray. A daily "quiet time" is a great stress reducer. Use this time to talk to God about your pressures and problems, evaluate your priorities, and discover the rules for successful living by reading the Bible. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus...went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35).

7. RELAXATION: Take time to enjoy life! Balance is the key to stress management. Work must be balanced with fun and worship. "...he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:30-31).

Rick Warren is the author of the highly acclaimed, best-selling book, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. It affirms the importance of having a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life.

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