Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Stresses of Life

There are a lot of things that stress us out in life: war, money, work, time, etc. There are many things that can put us under these huge loads of burden. How do we escape these burdens? How do we free ourselves and stop the insanity. Sure, you can try to cover it up using drugs or alcohol, but that won't make the problem go away, it will only make it worse. There are several solutions that could help.

Much of what we do in this life is so focused on ourselves that we sometimes miss the opportunity to show our love. Shakespeare wrote, "They do not love, that do not show their love." The first thing you need to do it evaluate what is important, and what is not, or what is needed, versus what is wanted. I can guarantee you that your family will be very near the top of that list. Your family needs you to be there. You need to show your love to them, not just through "paying the bills" but through actual showing of your love. We should never assume or take for granted that our family loves us, we should let them know. Do not focus on yourself. Focus on others, especially your family. You will feel an increased love from them, and an increased love for them.
As part of evaluating what is important or not, or what is wanted versus what is needed, we should remember that when evaluating, it doesn't take much to turn directions from one area of focus to another. "You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves" (D&C 123:16).

Another solution you can do with relieving stress is to endure well. There is a principle of the Gospel called Enduring To The End. Enduring through any trial will be able to help us learn more and love more, but enduring is not just something you're put through, it's something to be enjoyed. This is called Enduring Well. It's one thing to go to work hating life and complaining because of your boss, or your not getting enough pay, or whatever. It's another thing to go to work, to do it cheerfully, and to come home happy, not bummed out. Easier said than done, yes, but worth it? Definitely! Joseph Smith wrote, "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed" (D&C 123:17). This offers us some direction. 1) We need to do things cheerfully. Don't complain, you will only increase your stresses. 2) We must do things that lie in our power. This means that we don't need to worry about (or try to do something about) things we can't control. There are usually a lot of things on our plates already, and there is no need to put more stuff on, especially if we can't control what is going to happen (ie: oil spills, war, affording what you don't really need, what so-and-so were doing yesterday, etc.).

Important note to remember: stress and misery are only increased when you constantly think on those things. In fact, most of your stresses live in the imagination. Think of it, when you were little, you used your imagination to go play, but as you got older, you replaced that playground with a battlefield, filled with speculation and unneeded fear. In your imagination, storylines upon storylines are created, stretched, and added upon to create a deeper fictional story. This is all speculation. Your imagination is not reality.

Just know that by doing these things, and with much prayer for help from God, you can overcome ANY stresses or problems that come your way. Use the tools around you: God, family, and friends. They're here to help you endure well in this life. Be confident in yourself. You know you can get through anything that's thrown at you.

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