We don’t understand why we so easily impatient with our kids, when we really wanted to help them with homework. Instead, we get frustrated, lecturing them in a way that was unhelpful and discouraging.

 “One fine day; what’s going on?” my hubby asked?

In the past, we’d launched into self-shaming words or we’d blame it on this-or-that, launching us into more conflict. Later, if we confided in a “friend” who was quick-to-judge and slow-to-give-grace, we’d carry extra spiritual guilt of not-trusting-God or praying enough. This cycle of try-harder-then-feel-worse repeated, adding to my stress! 

Do you ever feel stressed, but don’t really know why, too?

When stress eventually turned into anxiety and depression, we decided since Jesus said, (Matthew 11:28 “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”) There must have a better solution. We started an amazing, life-changing journey to learn what God says about stress and how He helps us, researching loving Scripture and simple soul care tips based on scientific research to improve our emotional well-being.

To my delight, we discovered many reasons why we stress and powerful ways to de-stress with soul care and prayer, based on God’s love for us;

We are sharing Ten Surprising Reasons Why we are Stressed and Simple Ways to Restore God’s Peace to your soul too!

1. You’re good at taking care of others, but bad at changing your behaviour.

Why are we so hard on ourselves, when God’s love is gentle? Extend yourself the comfort you want to give others. How can we preach other’s needs, if our behaviour, emotions and character is empty from within? Which we need to fill with the Word of the God and correct from our inner side with the help of the Holy Spirit and asking our family members to tell us!

Soul Care Tip: Prioritize enjoying what brings you joy. Take a walk outside today. Let God touch you.

Don’t think about it. Just put on your shoes and go. You’ll return refreshed. Studies show just 10 minutes outside refreshes and helps with anxiety — depression in school, work, and everyday life.

(2 Corinthians 1:4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.) We may feel selfish prioritizing filling our tanks. Yet, God says we can only comfort others, with the comfort we first receive ourselves!

2. You are good at problem solving, but what you need is rest.

Most problems that stress us can’t be solved in a day. We are such strong thinkers, but it leads us to easily ruminate, which means to obsess about situations or relationships, leaving us feeling depressed or anxious. One way to reduce rumination is by enjoying activities that foster positive thoughts.

Soul Care Tip: Listen to a worship song.

Songs give us a simple way to practice the presence of God. Music is used in therapy to uncover hidden emotional responses in children, helping them find words to express themselves. It’s not just for children. Music helps us pray without words. It’s shown to bring calm and alleviates pain. When you feel too stressed to pray, put on a favourite worship song and let God love on you. Sing the Psalms, worship songs and hymns.

3. You are good at listening to others, but find it hard to share your hardships.

We don’t want to bother others. But, what we doubt is whether we’re worth loving. Notice how you feel better after talking to someone about your troubles — even if the problem hasn’t been fixed?

Soul Care TipPray & discuss a grace-filled spouse or friend to have coffee.

Tell your friend about both your hopes and anxieties. Research shows depression is eased, anxiety is reduced, and people bounce back sooner (resiliency) when people share their stories and talk about how they feel when events impact them (rather than just describing what happens).

4. You’re busy getting things done, but you forget to breathe.

Did you know you hold your breath when you’re stressed? Shallow breathing creates tension in your body, raises your blood pressure, and makes your muscles ache with tension and pain.

Soul Care Tip: Pray a Breath Prayer

The minute we stress is a special opportunity to invite Jesus into our day and be refreshed. A powerful, simple way is to pray a breath prayer. It’s a contemplative prayer practiced by the early church to experience God’s peace and “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. [16] Always be joyful. [17] Never stop praying. [18] Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.)

An example of a breath prayer:
Inhale and whisper the name of God you connect with—“Good morning, Jesus.”
Exhale and whisper how you feel or a request—“I love you” or “Help me today.”

5. You zone out on social media, but you’re actually stressing yourself out.

Research shows the more time people spent on Facebook, Instagram and social media, the more they felt dissatisfied, depressed, or anxious. People avoid sharing negative feelings, so what you see isn’t real, but tweaked.

Soul Care Tip: Take a digital break. Enjoy doing something that makes you smile!

Research found that experiences make people happier and give you a greater sense of vitality— “feeling alive.” Happiness enjoyed during the experience carried lasting benefits. Simply by recalling the memory sparked happy brain activity, elevating good mood. 

6. You’re reading before bedtime to relax, but still can’t fall asleep.

Reading an e-book? The blue light from your digital devices wakes your brain up to think it’s daytime!

Soul Care Tip: Read a printed book.

Research shows reading a printed book (it helps more than reading on your tablet) is the best way to relax, and even six minutes can be enough to reduce stress levels. Snuggling up with a good book returns tranquillity to your brain and body as you get lost in a story and unplug from constantly multitasking during the day, which is exhausting.

Zephaniah 3:17

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty Saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

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