I’m sure you’ve said more than once I’ve got too many pressures in my life at the moment. Now, if you haven’t, you will. One day. It’s a reality of life. There’s so much to think about. And the day can get overloaded with stuff to do. The phone calls I’ve got to make, plus the pressures of social media that seem to crowd in on top of us.
Consciously or unconsciously, the average person today faces a myriad of different pressures. For some, I’m sure it feels like they’re living in a pressure cooker, whether it’s the economic pressure or family pressure, or perhaps something related to our jobs. I think we all know what the stresses of daily life can be like.
Maybe you’re in a battle with your health today or feeling the pressure of not getting anywhere in your life. And you wonder why you’re not at a different level of life or you don’t seem to have any sense of direction, or why you feel like that tiny little hamster running around the little wheel getting nowhere, all because of the pressure in your life.
That feeling of being under pressure or stress could be a reaction to bad news or a bad day. Now it can be physical, emotional or both, and can often lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness, that pressure to perform to be good enough and to live up to everyone else’s expectations. You got to:
- keep going,
- make more money,
- have more stuff,
- take care of the kids. The list goes on and on, and sometimes we feel like giving up.
Give yourself a break. You can also relieve stress by giving everyone else a break as well. Now, like most problems in life, this one is mostly in our minds. You can actually remove some of that pressure before it gets the best of you. How can you do that?
Don’t take things personally. Don’t hold onto grudges. Try to see the best in people by understanding how things may feel from their perspective. Learn to forgive yourself and others for mistakes. You might even be afraid that if you relax a bit, things will start to fall apart. But putting less pressure on yourself can be a key to feeling better and living a better life.
Feeling like you’ve just got too much to do and there’s not enough time for the important things. You probably need to do some decluttering, eliminate some of the less important things and make a priority list to find out what it is that’s really important to spend most of your time on both at work or in school or just life in general.
Don’t get stuck in that unimportant busywork mode and ask yourself “is what I’m doing now useful?” Remember to actually ask yourself that. Consider writing it down on a bit of paper or put that paper where you can’t avoid seeing it.
Now we can relieve the pressures in their life by practising the art of contentment. I must learn to be content where I am and be grateful for what I’ve already got. Now you might think this sounds like a weird sort of almost impossible response when you’re feeling the heat in life. But think with me for a moment about the Apostle Paul from the Bible, he wrote in The Book of Philippians. He was shackled to a guard in Roman prison cell, and then he wrote,
“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances. I know how to survive in tight situations, and I know how to enjoy having plenty. In fact, I have learned how to face any circumstances, whether I’m fed or hungry, with or without, I can be content in any and every situation through the one who is my power and strength.
That was his words in Philippians 4:11-13.
So I’m saying the contentment is only found when we’re plugged into God. No matter what’s going on around us, we can face anything through Christ who infuses inner strength into us. That’s the kind of attitude Paul had when he was in prison. He was locked up in pretty awful conditions. Yet he wrote about being content. How is that possible?
By looking for the good and being thankful to most people, that wouldn’t make much sense. Paul wasn’t free to go about and do his work. All he could do was write letters, and how is that going to influence the world? And yet, in the midst of his circumstances, Paul was thankful what a remarkable and courageous man he was. When we begin to feel the pressure, ask the Lord what kind of pressure is this? What sort of worry is this causing me? Can I change it? Can I do anything about it? And if the answer is no, you can relax. And if the answer is yes, then you can change. Survivor step number two is believe God.
1 Peter 5:7 says “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Psalm 55:22 says “Cast all your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall.”
Heavenly Father, I do admit that the pressures of life get to me sometimes. And we’re not alone in that. Lord, may we understand the best ways to give the pressures to you and you will help see us through all this. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.