"There is nothing else we do better when we do conversation well. There is no other communication device that provides such subtle and instantaneous feedback, nor permits such a range of evaluation and correctability."
- Richard Saul Wurman
So here's to the continuation of what began... to the conversation continued, about managing stress.
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This morning, Glenn walked us through something that is arguably the number one challenge and enemy college students face today, stress and worry. During the midst of our conversation, one of our guests, Justin, pointed out that it's whenever we are approaching the time of day when we lie down and begin to fall asleep, that we are seemingly bombarded by a surplus of worries and anxiety that we've seem to outrun all day. This got me thinking, maybe the reason we are overwhelmed by such stressful thoughts when we try to fall asleep is simply because that's the first time all day where we haven't kept ourselves busy to the point that we don't have time for them. Put another way, we've been running from them all day that we now that we finally stop, it catches up. Kyla shared a wonderful practical suggestion, that she will sometimes pray until she falls asleep. While that is absolutely a great idea, I wanted to pitch another one that while it might be challenging, I think it would be even more effective.
Maybe, since we're constantly running all day long, we need to take time to practice an old, neglected spiritual discipline: solitude. Think about it. Maybe all of our stresses and anxieties that bombard us at bedtime can be dealt with and given over of God during a time BEFORE bedtime. What if we stopped, just long enough, to allow our anxieties and worries to catch up and be dealt with before trying to sleep? This isn't an original idea. In fact, Jesus often practiced this while He was living here on earth. In an effort to keep this post from being SUPER LONG, I'll leave you with some practical suggestions/ideas, both for further research and for applying this discipline.
Thoughts For Application:
- Pick a time each week where you can go off on your own (for maybe 20 min), where you allow all of your worries/anxieties for the coming days gather before you. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you why your heart rate seems to race, and what is maybe even causing stress that you didn't even realize. Then, follow the Scriptures advice. "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5.17, NIV)
- Schedule your times. If you make them a non-negotiable in your schedule (treat it as a 'prior engagement' when other things arise), you'll be prepared and ready for when more stressful things get dumped on your plate (like homework, group projects, etc.).
- Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (HIGHLY recommended)
Now... let the conversation continue... what do you think?...