5 Christian Ways to Handle Stress at Work
Stress. It invades our bodies, homes and workplace. Our days are defined by mounting to-do lists—and emails, voicemails and text messages fill in the small spaces between tasks. The world waves the red flag of urgency all before we crack our eyelids to greet the new day. So, it’s really no wonder we feel overwhelmed, overworked and a little strung out.
Stress is a part of the human experience. As Christians, we’re not exempt. Jesus was no stranger to stress. He was verbally abused and physically assaulted. He hung for hours on a rugged cross. He literally sweat blood.
Our response to stress is what sets us apart.
If we can’t escape it, we must figure out ways to overcome it. Here are some strategies to combat work stress without falling victim to our circumstances.
1. Do soul work at home.
Give intentional thought to how you begin your day. Start in quiet communion with the Lord. Spend time reading Scripture and meditating on the Word. By seeking the Lord before we answer the calls of the world, we allow time to properly prepare ourselves for the day.
2. Choose gratitude.
Begin the day by identifying ten things you are grateful for. Write them down and carry them with you. When we alter our lens through which we see the world, our responses to stress will shift. Be thankful for the present. Embrace the day as an opportunity to serve the Lord. Shifting our attitude from one of scarcity to abundance and from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness, our posture toward the day will be transformed.
3. Practice self-care.
Chronic stress is a serious threat to our well-being. Commit to self-care. We cannot work effectively or respond well if we’re pouring from an empty vessel. Take a critical look at your personal habits and boundaries. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating properly? Do you make time for fun? Make self-care sacred and nonnegotiable.
4. Be silent.
Christians aren’t perfect. Our mouths run wild. Sometimes, the best response is a silent one. Communicate with the Lord through prayer. Ask God for guidance before confronting a stressful situation or difficult person. We are control hoarders. By remaining still and meditating on God’s Word, we allow God to be God and we relinquish the control that was only meant for Him.
5. Focus on eternal work.
We are surrounded by believers and nonbelievers. Our words and actions are being scrutinized. Our jobs provide a perfect opportunity to be Christ-like examples to a watching world. It’s imperative that our behavior be congruent with our professed beliefs. If we encounter a difficult person, conversation or event, we can choose to see it as an opportunity for Kingdom work. You might be the only encounter someone ever has with Jesus. Make it count!
By keeping these five tips top of mind as we go about our fast-paced days, we’ll be better able to serve our careers, our families and our Lord.
If you’re a working professional looking to take your purpose even higher in answer to God’s calling, Concordia University, Nebraska offers leading-edge online graduate programs deeply rooted in the Christian faith.