Christian Leaders … Beat Stress Before It Beats You!
Are you feeling overwhelmed as though you just can't get it all done? Do you feel overworked, pressured, or deadlines? Do you have trouble relaxing or loosening up? Does your body tend to be stiff, uptight, and tense?
As a Pastor or Christian leader, there are multiple reasons why you are battling with so much stress. Here are some of the top stressors you may be dealing with:
You are on the frontlines, having to be available 24/7, helping people cope with the enormous challenges in our world today, catastrophes, deaths, accidents and emergencies. This can be very stressful on you, causing existing, dormant, or new negative emotions/attitudes and stress-related health problems to surface.
You may be suffering from a neurotransmitter imbalance, such as low serotonin levels. Having depleted serotonin levels in your brain as well as having malfunctions of your thyroid or adrenal glands from years of experiencing chronic stress or grief…will exacerbate your reactions to your already difficult stressful circumstances.
Perhaps the daily pressures are exhausting you; working in a stress promoting ministry, organization, or as a sole practitioner where you are working long hours without adequate rest periods, with too many phone calls, meetings, interruptions, unrealistic expectations demanded of you, incompatible work schedules with your spouse, feeling that your congregation or work life competes with family time, being expected to wear all hats and be competent as a leader, human resources manager, counselor, financial manager, teacher, conflict manager, etc.
Maybe you've had the stress of uprooting your family in relocating, changing ministry locations, serving or overseeing multiple congregations or satellite offices, having to satisfy others' new expectations of you.
As a result of feeling 'Stressed OUT!', you are likely experiencing a general 'worn out' feeling, loss of motivation for ministry, impatience, anger, edginess, worry, anxiety, irritability, exhaustion, depression, fear and panic.
To get relief, consider doing the following:
** Take regular mini vacations and time off.
** Handle stress the way Jesus did. He had quiet time by being alone, by often getting quiet and spending time with God. We see Jesus doing this in Luke 5:15-16, "But so much the more the news spread abroad concerning Him, and great crowds kept coming together to hear Him and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. But He Himself withdrew in retirement to the wilderness and prayed."
** Have fun, laugh, develop an interest by thinking back to what you enjoyed doing during your school years….then do it!
** Make a commitment to work with a healthcare professional that specializes in nutritional therapy, instead of using pharmaceutical medications with all their negative side effects. By making a few lifestyle changes, your fatigue, lack of alertness, inability to focus and other physical or emotional symptoms will disappear or greatly improve, making what seemed stressful before, no longer much of a struggle.
** Practice the fine art of saying "No". This requires discerning which things can be put off to handle later, and which things need to be addressed immediately.
** Take authority and signup for Biblical counseling to heal the spiritual root causes of your reactions to your circumstances and your stressors. This should include spiritual warfare, deliverance, and breaking of strongholds and generational curses.
I invite you to take a few moments and pray upon what you have read in this article. Being a Pastor or Christian leader is a high and sacred calling. However, nowhere does the Bible promise to ease all the stress in our lives. Therefore it is up to you to be mindful when it comes to your own self-care. This is necessary, as it is written in Hebrews 12:1 to "run with endurance the race that is set before us".
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