Today, there’s no question – families are in need of more calm and less stress! The breathless pace we’re living in is tearing families apart. On the whole, families are way too overcommitted and under-connected. It’s no wonder so many of—including our kids—are experiencing depression. Still, there is something that can be done about the stress you and your family experiences. A lot of stress can be removed if you make the tough choices necessary to gain control over your schedule. Here are 5 choices you can make to help eliminate the stress in your life.
1. Create a Calm Environment at Home. Don’t let the “stuff” of everyday life turn your home into a tense, stressful environment. Make your home a safe, calm haven of escape from the madness going on in the outside world. Perhaps this means starting with the noise level in your home. Turning down the volume of television and music can help. When your kids are listening to music at the same time, having them use headphones can help regain some sense of sanity around the house. Try not to overreact to circumstances of home life. Sure, many issues need to be addressed, but when you get angry or frustrated, overreactions are common and family stress levels rise. Look to cool down before you respond to such situations. Your family will thank you for it.
2. Refresh Your Spirit. Make time for God everyday. In 1 Timothy 4:8 we read, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Doing some kind of daily devotions each and every day is a great way to refresh your spirit in the presence of God. Encourage your family to do the same. Consider a regular family devotional time. Take advantage of opportunities for worship that your church offers.
3. Renew Your Body. 1 Timothy 4:8 is also a good reminder to us that “physical training is of some value.” To eliminate stress, we need to be people who reflect balance in our physical lives. Everyone in your family needs plenty of rest, exercise and a healthy diet.
4. Strengthen Family Relationships. Within our families we find the important relational connections that will sustain us through the good times, as well as the bad. Strained or broken family relationships are naturally accompanied by stress. To eliminate stress, you’ll need to take the lead in your family to make sure your relationships become and stay healthy. Start by evaluating whether or not you are currently “enjoying” or “annoying” your family… then make the changes necessary to strengthen those family ties.
5. Roll with the Punches! No family is exempt from difficulties in life. Some are just brief “moments” while others are “seasons.” How we respond to the hard times is a key determining factor of whether or not stress will wreak havoc during these times. The people who enjoy the highest level of contentment in life are the ones who can stay flexible when the tough times happen – and they are the ones who end up standing when those times have passed.
Remember, in the end, your family’s stress levels have a lot to do with your own choices. You can choose to let busyness, over-commitment and hard times take their toll on your family, or you can proactively make choices to lower the stress your family experiences. I encourage you to begin today, making the tough choices necessary to ruthlessly eliminate stress in your home!