If experiencing emotional pressure or strain, try these prescriptions from Scripture for helping us p-r-o-c-e-s-s- the stress:
P – Pardon. This refers to the need to release bitterness and the feeling of being treated unjustly. As Jesus was dying on the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). This wasn’t as much for their sake as it was for His benefit: He wouldn’t resent even those who were maliciously treating Him.
R – Read. Yes, get out your Bible and dig into one of its passages. Reading has a way of giving us an escape to another time and place.
O – Outside. Get back to nature. Read again Jesus’ instructions for how to overcome worry (in Matthew 6:24-34) and notice how many times He refers to lessons we learn from what we’ll see in the great outdoors. The heavens announce that there is a great and good God (Psalm 19:1-7).
C – Conversation. God made us for companionship and relationships. Numerous passages direct us to engage in upbeat communication: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29 NKJV). Call up someone you’ve been thinking about and ask them how they’re doing and what they’ve been up to.
E – Exercise. Okay, Paul wrote that “bodily exercise profits a little” (1 Tim. 4:8), but he didn’t say it profits nothing. In whatever way you can, get the blood flowing and get moving and work off some of that tension. Perhaps ride a bike. Go for a walk. Maybe work in the yard or in the garden. Activate the muscles and joints and see if you don’t feel better.
S – Sustenance. It could be that you’re not eating as you should. When Elijah was under stress, what he needed was a good meal (see I Kings 19:5-8). Make sure your diet is a healthy one.
S – Supplication. If you haven’t laid the matter before the Lord, then do that right now. Take a moment and “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” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV).