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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

How Long Can You Hold On?

For some of us fitting in any time for ourselves even 15 minutes just does not work, oh we have good intentions, but get to the end of the day and by then there is no energy left in our poor weary bodies, it is all we can do to breathe.

Stressed and busy are the mantra of many harried people in North America. I know because I was one of them. The other item that comes to mind is the “I will get to it” thinking, you and I both know it probably will not happen if it is on that list. We all have mental lists that we have classify as “essential”, “must do”, “when I get to it” and “someday”.

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, he raised a glass of water and asked, "how heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers of many weights rang out.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight of the water does not matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not heavy. If I hold it for an hour, my arm will start to ache. If I hold it for a day, I will probably be on my way to emerge."

As we try to hold onto the "stuff" in our lives, the stuff that stresses us - it affects our body. The longer we stress or "hold on to it" the heavier the burdens and stress become and eventually we can get physically ill because of it. Stress, worry, anxiety compound, that is they keep adding up and getting heavier, they get bigger and the failure to look after ourselves always comes with a toll.

Are we holding onto things way longer than we have to or even need to?

"We feel stressed in our bodies, we have stress in our minds, we exist on stress and we seem unable to relieve ourselves of it. Our minds whir at a frantic pace to keep track of what we need to do. Many people cannot sleep anymore; their minds will not shut down. We make mental lists and go over the day's events - or tomorrow's events, or even next year's events. We wake up not refreshed but, in a blur, because our mind is still in high gear, spinning fast and hard." (Page 118 Free to Fly, Jane Wheeler)

What's the cure? You.

You need to take charge on this one. Start scheduling into your calendar a non-negotiable time for yourself; start with 15 minutes and work up. Use this time to take a walk, sit and think, enjoy a park, talk with your family, connect with people who are dear to you, read your Bible or pray. Basically, take a load off and regroup.

Yesterday morning was a stressed morning for me – we had a rough weekend. I reached out for prayer from some friends because reaching out lets us know we are not alone and there is such power in prayer. A friend sent me a couple songs and I played them over and over listening to the words, taking time to reflect. I solidified myself again to the fact that I have a constant companion in my heavenly Father and Jesus who have made promises about never leaving me alone, never forgetting about me. All these steps took a load off my mind today as I listed some of those promises, sang some songs and had encouragement from friends. The day got brighter, and I got “lighter” as the burdens started to lift off.

If you are resigned to continue on and not take charge of your stress/anxiety issue and not let others in to help, let me ask you one question that Dr. Phil has made famous - "How Is That Working For You?"

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