Stress Is My Middle Name

stressmelindatoddAh, stress. How we know you well. The body tenses up and reacts in a headache, heart palpitations, and stomachache. It comes so naturally. Stress keeps me up at night or wakes me in the wee hours of the morning to dance in my head.

How much of the bills do we pay so they don’t turn off services this month?

My friend’s kid is being mean to my child on a regular basis. What do I do about that?

A friend has cancer. . .

I hurt my child today with my words. Will he remember that when he looks back at his childhood?

You know the drill. It can be exhausting.

We know we’re not supposed to be worrying. Right? Isn’t that what we are told as good Christians?

Do not fear. Do not worry.

Oh great! Now to worry about the fact that I am worrying and fearful.

It’s like a running toilet. Cycling and cycling until someone jiggles the handle or fixes the little chain in the tank.

We have the power to stop it. Right. In. Its. OCD. Tracks.

  • Pray. Simple right? Pray for the situation, guidance, and to let go of it. And pray for some sleep. No one likes a sleep deprived cranky pants. Not that I know anything about that. . .
  • Tell your mind to knock it off! Seriously. How many times do you tell yourself that you’ve messed up because you’re such an idiot and you believe it? Same thing, only let’s not be negative with our minds and selves. “Hey brain, glad you care so much about xyz but let’s turn it off now, okay?”
  • Open your bible. Find some scriptures on worry or fear and read and repeat.
  • Write it out. Get it all out on paper and then leave it there. Come up with some scenarios to solve the problem. What can you do right now to make the situation better?
  • Listen to music. Sing along. Dance. What ever it takes to refocus.
  • Watch funny videos. Your mind will stop playing negative stuff when it has to focus on something enjoyable.
  • Call a friend or your mom. Hey, Mom knows how to make it better. Most of the time. If your problem includes other people, I caution you in sharing. Don’t let it lead to a gossip session. I know it’s hard, right? You can call and start the conversation out like this, “I’m struggling with a situation with someone I care about right now. Can you help me focus on something positive right now? Would you mind praying for me?”
  • Read a  good book. Again, this helps the mind refocus.

What stresses you out and keeps you awake at night? How do you deal with situations that stress you out?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13




Photo credit: marin @


  1. Mel,

    I keep coming back to this blog post from a week ago; it was excellent. I too lie awake some nights, mostly worrying about my teens and their futures. Sometimes I worry that something will happen to them, or to my husband, like a serious car accident or a job loss. I worry for their salvation – none of them are walking with the Lord. My teenage daughter’s ongoing depression is always just below the surface.

    Rarely – but sometimes – I am filled with such anxiety that my heart is racing and I have the jitters. Like shadows, fears can grow to frightening dimensions in the middle of the night – whereas they are easily dismissed or handled during the day.

    One night some years ago my husband was very late home from a night out with his mates. I became unreasonably fearful that something had happened to him. I began to pray 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out all fear.” I prayed this over and over again, like a mantra, thinking about God’s perfect love and that I must cast all my cares upon Him – and my fears were settled in just a few minutes.

    It transfers my attention away from my fear and onto God. I have used this scripture often during my night fears when everyone else is sleeping and everything seems bleak. It works for me every time!

Comments are closed