When I start to get stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted, there are almost always two things that have happened.
First, I realize that I’m trying to control things on my own. I’m likely not seeking the Lord’s direction in prayer and I’m exhausted from trying to carry burdens and make decisions on my own without His guidance.
Turning to the Lord in prayer to seek Him and His direction is such an easy solution, but for some reason I seem to carry things on my own for far too long. I hate to admit this but it’s often not until I find myself in tears or losing my temper that I realize that I’m not seeking Him and His will, but instead trying to control things on my own.
What incredible promises and reminders we have in scripture on this topic.
Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Isaiah 41:13: “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’”
Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
What incredible reminders! We don’t have to carry those burdens on our own. All we have to do is turn to Him, release our stress and walk in His peace!
The second reason that I tend to feel stress, overwhelm and exhaustion is that I have likely let my world become cluttered. For me, this can be that my thoughts are cluttered and I’m carrying way too much around in my head OR it can be that my home and things have become very cluttered. Very often for me it’s a combination of both.
When my thoughts have become overwhelming, sitting down to do a “brain dump” on paper is incredibly helpful. I need to get the many tasks out of my head and onto paper so that I can free up space to think clearly and then develop a plan to tackle all that needs to be done. It can also be incredibly helpful to sit down and journal my prayers to get my thoughts out on paper and recognize what’s really going on.
Webster defines clutter as “a collection of things lying around in an untidy mess.” When my space becomes physically cluttered, it’s not time to put things back in place, but instead time to get rid of some of the “stuff”. Decluttering my home is an ongoing process. We declutter and somehow more stuff sneaks back in and takes over.
I wouldn’t ever have believed how much decluttering can help me to relieve stress, but it works every time. Here are a few of the questions I ask myself about each item as I declutter and get rid of items from our home.
- Does it bring me joy? I got this from “The Magic of Tidying Up” by Kon Marie. I have to admit that it seemed silly at first. But there is real decision making power in this question. If it doesn’t bring me joy, it likely needs to go.
- Do I use it on a regular basis? If it is functional and gets used regularly, then I likely just need to find a place to keep it where it is no longer cluttering my space. If I don’t use it regularly, it needs to go.
- And if it’s something that I decide to keep, does it have a home? Everything that’s worthy of keeping needs to have a place where it’s put away. If it doesn’t, it’s going to continue to end up being left out and causing stress and clutter.
The power of releasing burdens through prayer and clearing clutter are two of the most powerful ways to relieve stress and overwhelm in my life!
I’d encourage you to give both of these things a try today and see if you don’t feel instant peace and contentment.
If you are in need of more support as you declutter your spaces, I’d love to talk with you and see if my Focused Productivity Program would be a good fit for you. This program focuses on helping women declutter their lives, develop systems to get and stay organized and increase productivity so that they have more time for the things and people that matter most!
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