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Let’s look at three proven and effective strategies for dealing with stress. 1) Place yourself on your daily to-do list. Designate fifteen minutes twice a day to renew, regroup, and restore. Distance yourself from the stress source, even if that simply means stepping outside for a few minutes and going for a walk to refresh your brain. Sing your favourite song or do whatever helps you to chill. And persevere when other events threaten to crowd you out. You’re important – learn to value yourself. 2) Lighten up! The Bible says, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV), and when your joy goes, so does your strength and ability to cope. Some people think Christians should always be sober, humourless, and as quiet as the grave. But Jesus arose from the grave – and that’s one of the best reasons in the world to celebrate. 3) Relax your stiff muscles with five-minute stress-relievers throughout the day. Stop thinking and move! Stretch out, bend over, roll your tense shoulders, chase the dog – get that invigorating blood flowing throughout your body while your mind takes a mini-break. Turn up the praise music and line dance while pushing a vacuum cleaner…swing dance while stirring the food on the stove…and boogie with the shopping trolley in the cereal aisle! Physical activity triggers your brain to secrete beta-endorphin, which helps calm you. You weren’t meant to live under stress. The Bible says, ‘You will go out with joy and be led out in peace.’ And that came straight from the mouth of the One who created and redeemed you.

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