This seems obvious, but it’s a method many families intend to do, yet fail to execute. Feeling prepared goes a long way in reducing stress! Lay out clothes, iron, and pack any needed lunch boxes the night before a busy morning of getting ready for work or school. Don’t leave simple tasks like filling the car with gas or taking the trashcans to the road for pickup to the last minute when you’re already going to be in a hurry. Check your child’s backpack for homework assignments while there’s time to finish any missing tasks. Hang your keys where you’ll see them easily in the morning. Make sure your phone and iPad is charged for work the night before. These little efforts can make a big difference in lowering stress levels or anxiety on hectic weekdays.
"When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” (Psalm 94:19 ESV)
4. Pray Often
The Bible encourages us in Ephesians to pray all the time in the Spirit. “…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…” (Ephesians 6:17-18 ESV)
This doesn’t mean constantly engaging in active prayer, where your eyes are closed or your mind is fully engaged and you can’t read, perform duties, or have a conversation with someone. Rather, this is a heart posture of fellowship with, and awareness of, the Holy Spirit, where prayer is a heartbeat away and you’re always ready to slip into that state of communion with the Lord.
The word also tells us that when we struggle with anxiety, we can pray and be relieved. (Note there’s that reference to thanksgiving again!) “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:5-6 ESV)
Prayer is where we come to the Lord with thanksgiving, worship, and requests. Praising Him takes our mind off ourselves and broadens our perspective to Kingdom-scope, while asking the Lord for what we need eases the burden of our anxiety. It’s a win-win, but more than that, it’s a command for our own good.
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