Posted on Leave a comment

Physical Solutions for Stress Management, Part 2

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Physical solution: Developing listening skills to manage Stressors

As we continue looking at physical solutions to stress management, we will find some practical ways to reduce and manage stress. Some stresses can be managed by changing the circumstances. This means that we work to improve how we communicate with others and look for ways to improve how we live our lives.  

Learning to communicate well is a physical solution and it is essential to stress management. James 1:19 says, “Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” I don’t think it was unintentional that God gave us one mouth and two ears. He wanted us to listen twice as much as we speak. However, too often we find it more necessary to “speak our mind” and make someone understand our side in a situation that we don’t take time to listen – really listen – to their side.

Tips to developing good listening skills

Good listening skills have to be developed and it takes practice. However, everyone is able to develop listening skills. Here are some quick tips to help you become a better listener:

  • When listening, you should always face the person that is speaking and make eye-contact with them.
  • Try to relax, even if the situation is tense. It will put the other person more at ease also.
  • Pay attention. Don’t let your mind wander off thinking about something else or try to come up with what you will say next.
  • Try to keep an open mind by understanding that their side of the issues is as important to them as yours is to you. Even if you disagree, give the other person the respect of listening and hearing what they have to say.
  • Don’t interrupt them while they are speaking. Interrupting gives the impression that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say. It also sends the message to the other person that you do not value their opinion and that you don’t care what they have to say.
  • When the person speaking comes to the end or a break in what they are saying, ask questions to clarify that you have heard them correctly. Effective communication only occurs when the listener both hears and understands what is being said. By asking questions, you are able to confirm that what they intended to communicate is what you understand. This will remove the stress of miscommunication.
  • Pay attention to the speakers body language. Sometimes more is said without words than with words. Body language and facial expression tell us more about how the speaker feels than the words themselves. Likewise, check you own body language and be sure you are not communicating something that you don’t intend.
  • Lastly, give the speaker proof that you are listening with short feedback phrases such as, “I can see you are angry right now” or “That must have been the highlight of you day.”

Learn to effectively express your own thoughts and feelings

Listening effectively is important but so is having the ability to express your own thoughts and feelings. If you are not able to approach people and let them know something is bothering you or that you have a great idea, learn how to approach others in a respectful way and let them know what is bothering you or share your idea. Keeping your thoughts to yourself will likely build resentment and take your stress levels up a notch.

However, we must also be sure that when we are expressing our thoughts and feelings that we do so in a what that honors God. Doing so out of anger is not going to make anything better. It will just breed an argument. So, use calm tones along with kindness and consideration. You can also try to understand the other person’s thoughts and feelings with a genuine concern for how they are feeling.

Physical solution: Know when to compromise to manage stress

Compromise is another physical solution to help manage stress. Because we are human and we all come from different backgrounds in life, there will be times where it will be necessary to work towards compromise rather than a solution. There are two basic definitions of compromise. It can be defined as “settling differences by each party making concessions to find middle ground.” It can also be defined as “eroding, degrading, diminishing, and jeopardizing” such as compromising one’s integrity.

Just how are we to determine where it is appropriate to compromise and when we should stand out ground? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:23, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the Gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with.” In this verse, Paul clearly provides the key to discerning good compromise from bad. He refuses to compromise the Gospel itself, but willing to compromise on his own personal preferences. In other words, we should never compromise our convictions, but personal opinions and conveniences can be, especially when it means doing so adds souls to the kingdom of God.

The Bible itself should never be compromised. So, if a situation goes directly against the Bible we must defend the gospel and stand our ground. The Bible makes it clear that God does not condone compromising His standards: “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths. You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully” (Psalm 119:1-4, NLT). 

Physical solution: Realigning priorities to manage stress

Another physical solution for stress management is to set and abide by healthy priorities. We can change the circumstances that cause stress by making sure our priorities are in the right order and that our schedule is well-balanced with spiritual, family, work, play, and rest. When any of these get out of order or we are not devoting enough time to one and too much time to another, the other areas begin to hurt and we risk a higher change of stress, burnout, and/or compassion fatigue.

Physical solution: Changing ourselves to manage stress

Most people dread change of any kind and the very idea of change can cause stress. However, another physical solution to manage stress is to recognize the times where we are not able to change the stressor, but we do have the ability to change ourselves by changing our expectations and attitude. God created us with the ability to make choices and we make them every day. We can choose to fume, honk our horn (loudly) and be a road bully in a traffic jam or we can choose it see the disruption as an opportunity to spend some time with God by listening to a sermon on the radio or a Christian music station. We can use the time to meditate on a scripture we read that morning. And we can use the time to pray (with your eyes open!) for each person on the road with us, car by car.

Physical solution: Reframing stress to a more positive perspective

Another physical solution to manage stress is reframing your stressors to a more positive perspective can help lower the stress you experience when stress raises its head. This means you have a choice to examine the big picture and determine if the stressor is something to sweat over or if you need to focus your time and energy somewhere else. To do this, think about how important the stressor will be long-term. Will it still matter next week, in a month or a year from now? If it isn’t, then why get worked up over it now? Instead, choose to release it to God and ask Him to work His perfect will and plan through what you are experiencing.

We often pray and ask God to remove difficult situations from our lives…but sometimes being fully surrendered to Him means that we are willing to go through the difficult time. As Jesus faced the cross, He prayed, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36) If Jesus had not honored God and gone through the extreme stress of the cross, where would you and I be today? Looking at the big picture helps us bring the stress into the view of God’s lens and be surrendered to His plan.

Physical solution: Standards can set us up for failure and stress

We can also choose to adjust the standards we have set for ourselves and our lives as a physical solution to manage stress. While some standards should not be bent, such as the Word of God, other standards are set by us and we determine what is “good enough.” People who tend to be perfectionists actually set themselves up for failure by demanding perfection from themselves. The only person who was perfect was Christ. For the rest of us, the Bible tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23).

None of us are “good enough.” Setting standards of perfectionism is unreasonable and unattainable…whether you set those standards for yourself or someone else. Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” God and His Word should be the only standard we use. There is no room for perfectionism or pleasing ourselves or others if we are going to be servants of Christ. He is the only person we need to please.

Physical solution: Practice gratitude to manage stress

Another physical solution is to choose to practice gratitude to express our thankfulness and praise. In a moment of stress, it is much easier to focus on what is causing so many problems in our lives. Instead, choose to take time to praise God for all His many blessings, including the uniquely and wonderful way He chose to make you. Praise Him for your positive qualities and the gifts that He has given you.

When we experience times of stress, displaying an attitude of gratitude increases dopamine in your brain. This is the “feel good” chemical and when released, it encourages the brain to seek more of it. So, from a scientific, psychological standpoint, the more you are grateful for, the more you will find things to be grateful for.

Through gratitude, you can find peace and joy as you pray and give things to God, even in stressful and difficult times. God promised to give us grace and faith and we can find it through His Word. When you experience times of distress, pressure, and trouble, you can improve your outlook simply by showing gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” If we look hard enough, we can always find something to be grateful for.

Physical solution: Make time for relaxation

Relaxation is another physical solution you can utilize to help manage stress in your life. Making sure you are balancing the business of life, family, work and ministry with time for fun and relaxation will help you have a better frame of mind to deal with the stressful moments of life. Any time we are overly tired, overworked, and just worn out, small stressors can seem like impossible stressors. So be sure to include in your daily routines enough time to get a full night’s sleep. Take small breaks in your day and do something fun or relaxing that will help refresh you and keep you going. Think about activities or hobbies that you enjoy, such as fishing or crochet, cooking or golf. Maybe it’s playing an instrument, walking on a beach, or looking up at the stars. Whatever it is, make time to include it in your schedule every day.

Physical solution: Get physical

For most of us, when we feel stressed out, finding some quiet, relaxing moments alone makes sense. However, exercise and physical activity is also a great way to get rid of stress, and thus a great physical solution to manage stress. As you exercise endorphins, which induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria, are released and helps distract you from what stresses you. You don’t need a gym membership and or be a trained athlete. You don’t even have to be a regular exerciser; however, all of us benefit from regular exercise that is at least a thirty minute session.

Get up and start moving

If exercise is new to you, build up gradually. If you don’t have thirty minutes to devote to exercise, remember that even small activities can add up throughout your day. Simple activities such as parking farther away, taking the stairs at work, walking your dog, swimming, yoga, or dancing to your favorite praise music can get you up and moving. The first step is to simply get up and start moving.

Choose an activity you enjoy

The second is to choose an activity you will enjoy. You will be much more likely to stick with something you find fun. When the activity is something you enjoy, it becomes more of a hobby than exercise. If you need to, try several activities before choosing one. Then pick the one that is the most enjoyable. If necessary, consider the cost involved to get started with the activity and what it will cost you to maintain the activity. If it is out of your budget, then choose another enjoyable activity. Trying to stay with one that is costly can add more stress because your finances are too tight and sooner or later, you’re likely to give it up.

Listen to Christan music, sermons, or podcast while you exercise

1 Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” So, for an added benefit, listen to positive Christian music or podcasts from your favorite Christian speakers while you are exercising. God often speaks through music and sermons to encourage us and help us refocus our mind so that our thoughts shift from our stressors to meditating and thinking about our great God.

Physical solution: Fellowship with other Christians

God can also speak to us through fellowship with others. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.”  It is in the relationships we have with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors that we find support and encouragement. God created us as social beings and connecting to other people whom we trust and feel safe with can help shut down the “fight-or-flight” response. Quality time with the people that are important to us and those that we feel “get” us can also lower feelings of loneliness and depression. Talking about what stress us with such people can often help us find solutions that we couldn’t see before. However, even if a solution is nowhere in sight, just having someone listen with genuine care and concern can help lower the level of stress we feel at the moment.

Proverbs 17:22 says, “a merry heart does good, like medicine.” Laughter is a great stress reliever, helps to relax your muscles, and reduces some of the physical symptoms of stress. It can make difficult situations easier for you to handle and connect you with the people around you. At the very least, it will improve your mood and make you feel happier.

Physical solution: Practice good time management

Managing your life and your lifestyle can also lower stress. Therefore, a physical solution to manage stress includes good time management skills. Time management is key to how we manage life and all of its demands. The thinner we stretch ourselves, the more difficult it is to remain calm and focused. When we pile too much into our schedules we can be tempted to take short cuts rather than giving our best. Poor time management can also cause us to not have enough time in our day for healthy choices such as exercising, socializing, getting enough sleep, and spending time in God’s Word and in prayer.

Avoid over-committing

Proper time management includes not over-committing yourself to tasks, events, and projects. This means to not take on more tasks and projects than what you are capable of accomplishing as well as filling every moment of your schedule with something to do. The way to avoid this time management pit fall is to know God’s will and plan for your life.[1] Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:15-17, So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” We have to know God’s will before we can plan how we will accomplish it.  

Avoid scheduling things back-to-back

When you can, avoid scheduling things back-to-back. Schedule in small breaks between tasks to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or to take a short walk in the sunshine. Planning for breaks can also allow you to plan for unexpected disruptions or for when a task takes longer than anticipated. Disruptions and underestimating how long tasks will take can increase stress because they can make us fall behind in our schedules and not allow us to accomplish all that we planned. It is better to overestimate and run ahead of schedule. Another time management tip is to avoid fitting more into your day than you can reasonably accomplish. Scheduling too much will start your day with stress and then constantly increase stress throughout the day as you fall further and further behind.

Prioritize your tasks

Once you have your daily scheduled planned (including breaks), prioritize your tasks. Work on the most important tasks first so that you are sure to get them done. We all tend to procrastinate on tasks that we don’t enjoy. However, if we knock them out first, then we don’t have to dread them all day. It’s also important to know yourself. If you are morning person and do your best work first thing in the morning, then schedule more complicated tasks during that time. If you need a few hours to get going in the day, then schedule some lighter tasks then and save the complicated ones to when you are at your peak during the day.

Large projects can be daunting and overwhelming. When looking at the big picture of the project, we can waste time just wondering where to start. When you have a large project, take time to make a step-by-step plan. Then build your steps into your schedule over a few days or weeks, depending on how long you have to complete the project. Focus on just one manageable step at a time.

Delegate

Lastly, learn to delegate responsibility when you can. It’s important to know that you do not have to accomplish it all by yourself. Let go of the desire to control or oversee every single task. Assess the people in your life and know their strengths and weaknesses. Learn to delegate tasks that match the strengths of other. In ministry, this might be ministry partners, co-workers, or staff.

At home, it could be your spouse or children. Children need to have responsibilities within the home to help them learn cooperation, teamwork, and responsibilities. The better you are at delegating, the more you will be able to let go of unnecessary stress.

One caution to delegating responsibility, is to know that when you delegate a task, you have the confidence that the person to whom you gave the responsibility to is capable and trustworthy to get the job done. If you have to keep checking back in or you are constantly worried the job won’t get done if you delegate it, then you’ll have more stress than doing the job yourself. Also, avoid falling into the pit of redoing what someone has done simply because they didn’t do the task just exactly as you would have. If their way accomplishes the job and gets it done, then leave it and move on.

When you don’t know where to begin, start with prayer

For some, time management can be a struggle because they simply do not know where to begin when the pile of tasks seems bigger than they are. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will given him. Start with prayer and seek God’s will. This will help us not pile on tasks that are not part of His plan for us while neglecting the tasks that He has asked us to do. In Psalm 90:12, the psalmist wrote, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Wisdom for any task or for planning how to accomplish any task comes from God and when we feel like we don’t know where to begin, then the place to begin is in prayer.

Physical solution: Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a physical solution as it can help lower stress while increasing your resistance to stress. While we have previously talked about the benefits of exercise, it also important to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and avoid foods that can raise stress so that we are better able to maintain a balanced lifestyle that promotes resilience to stress.

Eating healthy ensures your body is well nourished. The choices you make in your food and drink can either raise or lower your stress levels. Some foods bring comfort, which trigger hormones that will help you naturally fight stress, while other foods and drinks can raise stress.

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals and being hungry only increases stress. So be sure to begin your day with a healthy breakfast. Not only will it give you fuel to keep you energized, it will keep your mind clear so you can focus on your tasks rather than your belly. Plan your meals throughout the day with foods that will naturally fight stress. Avoid fatty, fast foods and bring healthy meals and snack from home to work. Smaller, more frequent meals can help keep sugar levels at proper level and keeps them from spiking and dropping. 

Garbage in equals garbage out

Remember that garbage in equal garbage out. If you load up on caffeine and sugar, you might get a temporary boost, but these boosts tend to in with a crash in both mood and energy. Additionally, reducing caffeine and sugar will help you be able to relax at night, fall asleep easier, and sleep better throughout the night. Caffeine can raise both your heart rate and blood pressure, so if you already have healthy problems in this area, it’s best to avoid caffeine altogether.

On the other hand a warm cup of tea is calming to many people, especially herbal teas that include lavender and chamomile. Dark chocolate has both a chemical and emotional affect on lowering stress. Rich in antioxidants, small amounts of dark chocolate lowers levels of stress hormones in the body. Carbohydrates, such as pasta, sweet potatoes and whole grains, increase serotonin, which is a mood booster plus stress reducer. As serotonin levels are increased, people under stress often experience improved concentration and are able to work better. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like avocados, can also boost concentration and improve mood. Fatty fish, such as tuna, halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and lake trout, is also high in omega 3 and has the added benefit of improving heart health.

Physical solution: Get enough sleep

Sleep is another physical solution and it is as necessary to the human body as food, water, and air. When we sleep, our brains recharge while our bodies rest. Even a slight deficiency in sleep can affect memory, judgement, and mood. If we frequently do not get enough sleep, health problems increase, including high blood pressure. There is also a higher risk of obesity and driving can be impaired. When we do not get enough sleep or the quality of sleep decreases, stress will increase. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. If you are not getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, try setting an alarm to remind you to go to bed.

By eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising, we can maintain a healthy lifestyle that will promote resilience to stress, keep our mind focused, and ensure better health over all. 


[1]What did the lawyer ask when someone started talking about God’s will? “Was it notarized?” Because we have the Bible, we do not need a notary. God tells us about His will in His Word. His will is that we glorify Him and that none should perish.

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

God is my Weapon

When we fight spiritual battles, we must put on the armor of God, who will fight our battles for us. He is our weapon, and the Bible is our ammo against the wiles of the devil.

Sweater weather

See our fall designs:

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Help support our ministry:


7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FB-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is linked-in-logo-1.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is twitter-bird.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is instgram-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pintrest-logo.png

Posted on Leave a comment

Tips to Manage Stress in the Heat of the Moment

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Are there any tips for the “heat of the moment,” such as in rush hour traffic, or in a tense, heated meeting at work, or in an argument with your spouse or teenager? For those frazzled moments, you need help right now and there are some quick stress relievers to help. Breathing and sensory exercises can rescue you in the moment.

Deep breathing to manage stress

Deep breathing can be one of the best ways to lower stress levels. Each time you drawn in a deep breathe, it sends a message to your brain to clam down and your muscles will begin to relax. Remember that when you get stressed, your heart rate increases, your breathing rate gets faster, and your blood pressure rises. With deep breathing, the opposites of all these begin to occur. How you breathe affects every part of your body. But one of the best things about deep breathing exercises is they are easy to learn, and you can do them anywhere.

Belly Breathing for stress management

Four common breathing exercises are belly breathing, 4-7-8- breathing, morning breathing, and roll breathing. You can experiment and see which of these is more helpful for you and then begin to master it. If you have never practiced deep breathing, belly breathing is the simplest to learn. To begin, sit or lie flat in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your belly just under your ribs and one hand on your chest. Now inhale deeply through your nose and then use your belly to push the air back out, making sure that your chest does not move. As you exhale, purse your lips together as if you were going to whistle. You should feel the hand on your belly go in and you can use it to push all the air out. Repeat these steps three to ten times and make sure you take your time with each breath.

4-7-8 Breathing for stress management

A second type of deep breathing is the 4-7-8 breathing. Again, you can do this exercise sitting or lying. Begin the exercise just was you did with the belly breathing with one hand your belly and the other on your chest. As you inhale deeply from your belly, count to four silently. Then hold your breath as you silently count from one to seven. Then exhale completely, silently counting from one to eight. The goal is to get all the air out by the time you count to eight. Repeat the exercise three to seven times or until you feel relaxed and calm.

Morning breathing for stress management

Morning breathing is best done first thing in the morning. It can be beneficial to relieving stiff muscles and open clogged air passages. It can be done throughout the day as well to relieve back tension. For this breathing exercise, bend forward from the waist from a standing position, keeping your knees slightly bent and allowing your arms to dangle close to the floor. Inhale slowly as you roll your body up slowly back to a standing position with the head lifting up last. Hold your breath for a few seconds. As you exhale, bend forward from the waist again, returning to the starting position.

Roll breathing for stress management

Roll breathing helps not only relax you, but helps you focus on the rhythm of your breathing. It can be done in any position, but since some people experience dizziness the first few times they try roll breathing, it is recommended that you start learning this exercise while lying on your back with your knees bent.

Again, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. For moment just notice your hands move as you breathe normally. Now start filling your lower lungs, breathing in through your nose, so that the hand on your belly goes up when you inhale, and the chest remains still. As you exhale, breathe out through your mouth. Try this eight to ten times.

Now add the next step. Inhale slowly into your lower lungs as you did before but keep inhaling so that that the hand on your chest rises and the hand on your belly falls a little. Exhale slowly through your mouth. You should make a soft “whoosh” sound and your belly hand begins to fall first, followed by the hand on your chest. As you exhale, you should feel the tension leaving your body.  Keep breathing this way for three to five minutes. If done correctly, the motion of your belly and chest would look like rolling waves and you should begin to feel more and more relaxed.

Using your Five Senses to Manage Stress

Using your five senses that God gave you can also be a quick answer for stress in the moment. By using our senses we can stay grounded and present-focused and help us calm ourselves. Since we are all uniquely and wonderfully made by God, we each respond more to some senses over other senses. You can experiment with all five to see which is most beneficial to relieving your stress.

Grounding techniques that involve our senses work by reorienting the person back to the present moment by focusing on sensory information, such as vision, hearing, and touch, strategies that are helpful for reducing the reactivity and intensity associated with future-oriented worries or the reliving of past experiences of shame, rejection, or pain. They can be practiced anywhere, anytime, to snap you back to the present moment where things are generally more manageable and tolerable than they are in our minds when we’re stressed.

Grounding exercises generally help the person connect to their body and environment by focusing on their sensory experiences which, in many cases, promote a sense of feeling rooted in the earth and the present moment. They also help integrate and enhance the connection between mind and body, which allows people to be more mindful of their thoughts and feelings and to pause before responding to them.

Managing stress through the sense of sight

To use the sense of sight as a stress reliever, trying to spend a few moments looking at a photo of someone you love and cherish. Add some flowers or plants to your home and office. Take a walk through a garden or on a beach as you observe the beauty of God’s creation. If that’s not an option in the moment, pull up a picture on the internet of a quiet, peaceful mountainside or a beach with peaceful waves. Or you can simply close your eyes and imagine a quiet, relaxing, peaceful place. Imagine Jesus being there with you.

Managing stress through the sense of Hearing

Sounds can also be relaxing. Some people can’t go to sleep at night without “white noise” in the background, such as the sound of a running fan. If sounds can sooth and calm you, listen to your favorite Christian music or quiet instrumental music. Sounds of nature can be relaxing also. You can add an app on your phone for nature sounds such as ocean waves, rain, sing birds, etc. A table top fountain can provide soothing sounds of falling water.

Managing stress through the sense of Smell

Smells can be triggers to help you relax also. If this is your sensory stress reliever, think about the scents that you enjoy and the ones that make you feel good when you small them. You can try lighting candle or spray your favorite perfume, smell your favorite flower, or try some essential oils. I am not a coffee drinker, but growing up, I would wake up every morning to the smell of coffee because my mother would drink some before waking my sisters and I up. To this day, the smell of coffee is relaxing to me and takes me back to the feeling of home.

Managing stress through the sense of Touch

Others find the sense of touch to be relaxing. For these, petting their dog, cat, or other animal can restore a sense of calm. Or they might wrap up in a soft blanket or dig their toes into beach sand, or take a shower and feel the warm water running of them. They might hold a certain object in their hand that brings them comfort, such as a deceased spouse’s shirt or some other emotional valued object. These people also find massages to be relaxing.

Managing stress through the sense of Taste

There is a reason that we call certain foods, “comfort foods.” Taking a few moments to enjoy your favorite treat can be relaxing but over indulging will only add on more pounds. Also, heavy eating can make you feel sluggish and stress will increase, rather than decrease. If tasting is a way for you to relax, try a sugarless gum, eat some fruit or other healthy snack. Have a small amount of dark chocolate or your favorite coffee or tea.

Get moving to manage stress

Some people need to get moving in order to lower stress. If this is you, then try running in place, jumping up and down, dancing to your favorite praise and worship music, or go for a walk. You can also try squeezing a stress ball or do some stretching exercises. If you are not able to leave your desk, simply take a few moments and roll your head around in circles.

Use Your mind to manage stress

The mind is a powerful tool, so don’t forget to use it. If you are not able to get away to utilize a sensory relief, take a few moments to think back to a happy moment in your childhood and visualize that moment in your mind. Or use your imagination to take you to a quiet garden or to the beach. Vizualize the sounds, feel the wind, smell the flowers, taste the salt from the sea…use your five senses in your visualization for a quick “get-away” where to can relax and destress.

Unplug to manage stress

Lastly, when you need to destress, unplug from all your tech toys. Social media, news, video games can all add to your stress. Get back to simpler things instead. Read your Bible, listen relaxing music, practice your breathing exercises, spend time on the porch taking in a sunrise, go for a walk, ride a bike or any other activity that helps you relax.

Self-care course and coaching

$399.00 $199.50

Coming December 2021!

Pre-order for a 50% discount. You will get the complete set of downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

Pre-order now to receive a 50% discount! (Releasing December 2021)

You will get the complete downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

We know that ministry is hard! When you serve in ministry as staff or volunteer, you are on a spiritual battlefield 24/7. As you serve God, you fight for the Kingdom of God and our adversary is constantly attacking. He wants you to either lose your effectiveness in your ministry role or get you to quit. We must be sure we are reconnecting to the Vine (Jesus) so that we can refill, renew, and recharge. Then we can keep on pouring into others.

If you are feeling like you are losing the fight or struggling to stay in the fight, Jesus says to you, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Self-care is both Biblical and necessary, if you are going to stay in the fight and be effective in the Kingdom of God. Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue are real weapons that the adversary uses against us.

Even if you do not serve in ministry, if you are a Christian, you too are in a spiritual battle. Every Christian fights the same adversary and our Biblical self-care principles are for every Christian.

What you get in this self-care course:

In Part 1 of this video-based course, you will learn about the spiritual dangers in ministry, discover if God is testing you or is Satan attacking you, understand that ministry is battlefield and how to be steadfast, immovable on the battlefield, learn how the devil uses his wiles and schemes against us, and remember how to use your Spiritual Armor. We will also breakdown stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.

Part 2 is all about Preventing and Recovering from Burnout and Compassion Fatigue as we go through six areas that need self-care. In this part of the course we will provide you with practical ways that you can immediately begin practicing self-care. As you continue to serve God in whatever way He has called you, self-care is vital if you are not going to grow weary in doing good so you can reap at the proper time (Galatians 6:9).

Additionally, this packaged deal will provide 10 group coaching session where we will discuss the weekly assigned videos and do check-ins on where you are in each of the six areas of self-care that include: Spiritual, Sensory, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Intellectual.

Releasing in December 2021, this packaged deal will include the complete video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions with the author, Julia Bruce. In the 10-week program you will complete weekly videos and assignments and then meet virtually for a group coaching session to help you apply self-care where you need it. 

But wait! That’s not all! Check out this Bonus to the self-care course and coaching program.

BONUS: While this course and group coaching is not releasing until December 2021, if you’re purchasing this material, we know you need help now. So, if you purchase before the release date, we’ll place you in our new private Facebook membership page for free through the end of 2021. In January, this group will require a monthly subscription of $19.99. But it will be yours free through the end of year when you purchase the pre-release of the course and group coaching sessions.  

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

God is my Weapon

When we fight spiritual battles, we must put on the armor of God, who will fight our battles for us. He is our weapon, and the Bible is our ammo against the wiles of the devil.

Sweater weather

See our fall designs:

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Help support our ministry:


7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FB-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is linked-in-logo-1.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is twitter-bird.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is instgram-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pintrest-logo.png

Posted on Leave a comment

Stress Management Tips from Paul

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Five tips from Paul to manage stress

Yesterday we looked at stress management tips from some Old Testament Bible characters. Of all the New Testament Bible characters (other than Jesus) Paul probably experienced more stress than any of the other characters and we are going to look have five tips he has to offer us. Yes, many of them were persecuted for the Kingdom of God. However, Paul gives us insight into what he endured. In 2 Corinthian 11:23-33, we find he was:

  • imprisoned
  • beaten many times, almost to death
  • on five occasions he received 39 lashes from the Jews
  • three times he was beaten with rods by the Romans
  • once he was stoned by his enemies, and survived
  • three times he was shipwrecked
  • he spent a night and a day in the open sea
  • on his journeys he faced dangers from rivers, robbers, his own people, the Gentiles, in the city, in the open country, on the sea, and from false brothers
  • labor and hardship
  • sleepless nights
  • hunger and thirst
  • cold and lacking clothing
  • daily pressure
  • caring for all the church
  • the governor Damascus under King Aretas guarded the city with intent to arrest him, so he was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped.

So, if we can learn anything about how to manage stress, Paul is a good person to turn to. Let us see what stress management tips Paul would offer us.

Paul’s Tips #1: Rejoice always and don’t be anxious. Pray about everything, with thanksgiving

We find the first of Paul’s tips in Philippians 4:4-7 where he provides the answer for finding peace in uncontrollable, stressful situations. In these verses, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but 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.

In every circumstance, we are to rejoice in the Lord always. This keeps our focus on God more than on our circumstance. As we focus on God, we can remember that He is always in control of our uncontrollable circumstance.

So, Paul’s first tips for stress management is to rejoice always and don’t be anxious. Instead, pray about everything, with thanksgiving.

Paul’s Tips #2: Let gentleness be known to everyone

Challenges and stressors can be opportunity for growth mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Take time to ask God what He’s trying to teach you in the challenge. In the verses above, Paul tells us to let “gentleness be known to all men.” Gentleness is defined as “the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered.” It is showing care and respect for others in the way that you act and speak. That can be very difficult when someone wrongs us or hurts us. It can be hard to demonstrate gentleness when we are stressed.

Remember the old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?” We can smooth over hurt relationships with the “honey” of gentleness. When we show care and respect towards others, regardless of how they treat us or what they say about us, we can lessen the amount of stress we feel in the situation.

But Paul also writes that “the Lord is at hand.” He is near to you in every circumstance and He will be there in the stressful ones too.

So, the second of Paul’s tips for stress management is to let gentleness be known to everyone and always remember that God is near.

Paul’s Tips #3: Meditate on the right things

Paul also wants us to know that we can choose to maintain a positive point of view. In Philippians 4:8, Paul wrote: “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” When faced up against a stressor, look for what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, and praiseworthy. If we focus on such things, then our focus will not be on the negative or stressful things in our lives.

So, the third of Paul’s tips is to remember to meditate on the right things.

Paul’s Tips #4: Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving

Another way to reduce and manage stress in uncontrollable situations is to forgive. Anger and bitterness only adds to stress. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” You can free yourself of unnecessary stress by simply choosing to forgive and if God can choose to forgive you, then you can certainly choose to forgive others.

The fourth of Paul’s tips, then, is to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving.

Paul’s Tips #5: Encourage one another and build each other up

At times, it can be helpful to share what you are going through with a trusted spouse, a ministry partner, or your pastor. They may not be able to do anything to relieve the stressful situation you are in, but they can encourage you, pray for you and be a listening ear. God brings people into our lives for a reason. Because God knew your stressful situation would occur long before it did, He placed people in your life for just this moment, to help you and encourage you. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”

The fifth of Paul’s tips is remember to encourage one another and build each other up.


Self-care course and coaching

$399.00 $199.50

Coming December 2021!

Pre-order for a 50% discount. You will get the complete set of downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

Pre-order now to receive a 50% discount! (Releasing December 2021)

You will get the complete downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

We know that ministry is hard! When you serve in ministry as staff or volunteer, you are on a spiritual battlefield 24/7. As you serve God, you fight for the Kingdom of God and our adversary is constantly attacking. He wants you to either lose your effectiveness in your ministry role or get you to quit. We must be sure we are reconnecting to the Vine (Jesus) so that we can refill, renew, and recharge. Then we can keep on pouring into others.

If you are feeling like you are losing the fight or struggling to stay in the fight, Jesus says to you, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Self-care is both Biblical and necessary, if you are going to stay in the fight and be effective in the Kingdom of God. Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue are real weapons that the adversary uses against us.

Even if you do not serve in ministry, if you are a Christian, you too are in a spiritual battle. Every Christian fights the same adversary and our Biblical self-care principles are for every Christian.

What you get in this self-care course:

In Part 1 of this video-based course, you will learn about the spiritual dangers in ministry, discover if God is testing you or is Satan attacking you, understand that ministry is battlefield and how to be steadfast, immovable on the battlefield, learn how the devil uses his wiles and schemes against us, and remember how to use your Spiritual Armor. We will also breakdown stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.

Part 2 is all about Preventing and Recovering from Burnout and Compassion Fatigue as we go through six areas that need self-care. In this part of the course we will provide you with practical ways that you can immediately begin practicing self-care. As you continue to serve God in whatever way He has called you, self-care is vital if you are not going to grow weary in doing good so you can reap at the proper time (Galatians 6:9).

Additionally, this packaged deal will provide 10 group coaching session where we will discuss the weekly assigned videos and do check-ins on where you are in each of the six areas of self-care that include: Spiritual, Sensory, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Intellectual.

Releasing in December 2021, this packaged deal will include the complete video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions with the author, Julia Bruce. In the 10-week program you will complete weekly videos and assignments and then meet virtually for a group coaching session to help you apply self-care where you need it. 

But wait! That’s not all! Check out this Bonus to the self-care course and coaching program.

BONUS: While this course and group coaching is not releasing until December 2021, if you’re purchasing this material, we know you need help now. So, if you purchase before the release date, we’ll place you in our new private Facebook membership page for free through the end of 2021. In January, this group will require a monthly subscription of $19.99. But it will be yours free through the end of year when you purchase the pre-release of the course and group coaching sessions.  

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

God is my Weapon

When we fight spiritual battles, we must put on the armor of God, who will fight our battles for us. He is our weapon, and the Bible is our ammo against the wiles of the devil.

Sweater weather

See our fall designs:

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Help support our ministry:


7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FB-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is linked-in-logo-1.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is twitter-bird.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is instgram-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pintrest-logo.png

Posted on Leave a comment

Stress Management Tips from O.T. Bible Characters

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Coping with unchangeable stressors

Since we all experience stress, wouldn’t it be great if we had some good stress management tips? It would be great if we could simply change things and circumstances every time we feel stress. Unfortunately, that’s not reality. Some good, Biblical stress management tips would be helpful.

It is not within human capability to change the death of a loved one, a miscarriage, a diagnosis for cancer, or a job layoff. Coping with unchangeable stressors begins in prayer. We must be able to reach a point of surrendering it to God, understand that He will work all things out for our good, and know that He is at work bringing about His best solution, even if we can’t see it. It comes down to one question: Do we have faith that God will work this circumstance out?

Accepting that you can’t change a situation may be difficult but knowing that God can do anything and choosing to trust Him allows us to release control of the situation and surrender it to Him. We need to be able to recognize when a situation is outside of our control and what we can do. Several well-known Bible characters found themselves in stressful situation, and many times they were in situations they could not control. We can learn how from these Bible characters and how they handled the stress they experienced. Let’s look at the tips they have to offer us.

Abraham’s Tips: Have faith in God. He will provide a way.

The first of our tips come from Abraham. Can you imagine the stress that Abraham felt climbing a mountain to sacrifice Isaac, the promised son, in obedience to God? If you recall, first God tells Abraham to back up and go to land that God would show him. No directions were given. All God said was “pack and go.”

Then God promised Abraham that the Redeemer, the Savior of the world, would come from his lineage. God also promised that the Savior would come through Isaac’s lineage. And God had promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation and outnumber the stars. Yet Abraham and Sarah were past child-bearing years. It was not until Abraham was 100 years old that Isaac was born.

Then when Isaac was a teen, God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son to the Lord. Abraham was able to be obedient because he has faith that God knew what He was doing, and that God would keep His promise. He couldn’t see how God would work it out, yet he knew that God would. Yet it must have been a very stressful and difficult time for Abraham. And we learn in Genesis 22 that it took Abraham, Isaac, and Abraham’s men that went with them three days to go to the place God had instructed. Three, difficult and stressful days.

Abraham’s faith

But when they reach the mountain, we see Abraham faith. He told his men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5) Abraham didn’t tell them, I will come back to you. He said we will come back to you. In fact, He had so much faith in God that either God would bring Isaac back to life or spare him that when Isaac questioned Abraham about not having a lamb for the sacrifice, Abraham replies to his son, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:8)

Abraham’s stress management tips would be, “Have faith in God. He will provide a way.”

Moses’ Tips: Stop doing things your way. Turn to God, He will deliver you

Our next tips come from Moses. From the time Moses enters the scene on the pages of the Bible as a baby, stress begins. At the time his was born, Pharaoh had instructed that all the male babies be killed. But God had a plan for Moses’ life and his mother hides him until he is too big to hide. She then makes a basket and places him in it and places it in the Nile river to float. Pharaoh’s daughter finds the baby and her heart is stirred. She adopts him as her own and he is returned to his own mother to nurse. Once he is weaned, he goes to live in the palace of Egypt where he will learn all he needs to know to become the person God uses to free the Israelites from slavery.

The time Moses tried to do things his way

But Moses gets ahead of God’s plans and tries to accomplish God’s plans his own way. When he sees an Egyptian task master beating a Hebrew slave, Moses commits murder, then has to flee and go into hiding. He becomes a shepherd where he will learn everything he needs to know to shepherd God’s chosen nation. So the first of his tips to us would be “Stop doing it your way and wait on God.”

Moses encounters God

Then at the right time, Moses has an encounter with God through a burning bush. (I’m not sure if that would fall under eustress or stress…or both!) and God sends him back to Pharaoh to say to him, “Hey, Pharaoh. My God says to let His people go.” No stress there, right? Then we see all the plagues and eventually ten plagues, Pharaoh does send all the people away.

But then Pharaoh regrets his decision and become angry and he rallies his entire army to go after them. So at the edge of the Red Sea, Moses and the people are trapped between the sea and the Egyptian army. But God parts the Red Sea and the people walk through it on dry ground. Pharaoh’s army follows them but God brought the waters back together and the entire army was drowned.

The stress of leading God’s complaining people

But that’s not the end of Moses’ stress. They are now safely on the other side, but there is no water to drink. When they come to some water, it is not drinkable. The people begin to murmur and complain to Moses. So Moses asks God what to do. God shows Moses a piece of wood and he throws it into the water and the water becomes fit to drink.

On another occasion, the people complain that there is no food to eat, and God sends manna. Then they complain there is no meat to eat, and God sends quail.

Moses’ meeting with God

When they finally reach the mountain where God will give Moses the Ten Commandments, God says, “Come up to the top of mountain to me.” Again, I’m not sure if that would count as eustress or stress. Probably some of both. After the business is concluded, God tells Moses to go back down the mountain because the people had built an idol and was worshiping it.

Basically, Moses’ life is one stressor after another but he always turned to God (except for that time he attempted to things his way and murdered a guy – maybe it taught him to turn to God) and he saw God deliver him over and over again. But if he could give us some stress management tips, he would say, “Stop doing things your way. Turn to God. Wait for Him and He will deliver you.”

Job’s Tips: It’s okay to question God. But don’t stay there. Humble yourself before God and give Him the praise

Job has our next tips. Of all the people in the Bible it is likely that no other Old Testament Bible character suffered more than Job. So, from his experiences, he has some valuable tips for us when we find ourselves in the midst of tragedy and distress.

Job was a guy who had it all. A great family, a respected, well-known name, and he was rich. But then Satan comes before God and seeks God’s permission to bring disaster and misfortune to Job and told God that if Satan could take away all the blessings God had given him, Job would curse God. As a result, Job loses it all. His children died, his wealth taken away, his livestock died, his crops all died, and his health was gone. His wife just wanted Job to curse God and die. Job’s friends told him all that had happened to Job was his own fault and that if he would just confess his sin to God, God might restore blessings upon job.

However, no matter what trouble Satan heaped upon Job, Job did not curse God. He did the complete opposite. He praised God. In Job 1:20-21, we find: “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I come from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.'”

Job had questions, too!

Certainly, Job had questions about why everything happened to him. Just as we would, Job struggled with all the suffering that came in his life. In Job 10:1-4, Job says, “I am disgusted with my life. I will express my complaint and speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God: “Do not declare me guilty! Let me know why You prosecute me. It is good for You to oppress, to reject the work of Your hands, and favor the plans of the wicked? Do You have eyes of flesh, or do You see as a human sees?”

When tragedy and difficult times come in our life, it is only natural to question God and wonder why such things happen. But if Job could give us some tips on managing stress, he would say, “It’s okay to question God for why you are experiencing this. But don’t stay there. Humble yourself before God, repent, and worship Him with praise and thanksgiving.

David’s Tips: Cry aloud to the Lord. He will hear you and He will help you.

David gives our next tips. David was no stranger to stress. Even as a shepherd boy, the Bible tells us that whenever a lion or bear came after the sheep, David would go after it, kill it, and result the sheep from the animal’s mouth. (1 Samuel 17:34-35) But then here comes Samuel, the prophet who anoints David as king over Israel while Saul was still on the throne.

David then spends a good number of years running from Saul because Saul becomes jealous and seeks to kill David over and over again. As a result, we find David living in caves and hiding out. He and the men who followed him lived on whatever food they could find or what was donated to them by loyal followers. Yet, David never took Saul’s life. He waited for God to remove Saul from the throne. Eventually, in the heat of battle Saul is injured and to avoid being captured, he falls on his own sword.

David cried aloud to the Lord

There are many psalms that show us that David always took his struggles, fears, and questions to God. And his tips to us is to do the same. In Psalm 142:1-2, David says, “I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my compliant; before him I tell my trouble.” And in Psalm 18:6, David says, “I called to the Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.”

If David could give us some stress management tips, he would say, “Cry aloud to the Lord. He will hear you. Pour out your heart to him and tell him all your troubles. He will help you.”

Esther’s Tips: You were placed in this situation for such a time as this. Seek God’s purpose and follow his plan.

Our last tips come from Esther. In the Bible, Esther became Queen. When a decree was issued to wipe out the Jews, Mordecai told Esther to talk to the King. The custom of the day was no one could approach the King unless summoned. If one did and the King did not extend his staff to the person, it was automatic death. So, for Esther she faced one of three possible outcomes: 1) death because of a decree against the Jews, 2) death if the king did not extend his staff, or 3) life if the king allowed her to approach him with her request.

In Esther 4:13-14, we find Mordecai’s words to Esther: “And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” As the story unfolds, we find that indeed God placed her in the exact place and time to save the Jews from annihilation. So she, too, has some tips for us.

If Esther could give us some stress management tips, she would say, “You were placed in this moment of time and in this situation for such a time as this. Seek God’s purpose and follow His plan.”

Self-care course and coaching

$399.00 $199.50

Coming December 2021!

Pre-order for a 50% discount. You will get the complete set of downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

Pre-order now to receive a 50% discount! (Releasing December 2021)

You will get the complete downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

We know that ministry is hard! When you serve in ministry as staff or volunteer, you are on a spiritual battlefield 24/7. As you serve God, you fight for the Kingdom of God and our adversary is constantly attacking. He wants you to either lose your effectiveness in your ministry role or get you to quit. We must be sure we are reconnecting to the Vine (Jesus) so that we can refill, renew, and recharge. Then we can keep on pouring into others.

If you are feeling like you are losing the fight or struggling to stay in the fight, Jesus says to you, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Self-care is both Biblical and necessary, if you are going to stay in the fight and be effective in the Kingdom of God. Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue are real weapons that the adversary uses against us.

Even if you do not serve in ministry, if you are a Christian, you too are in a spiritual battle. Every Christian fights the same adversary and our Biblical self-care principles are for every Christian.

What you get in this self-care course:

In Part 1 of this video-based course, you will learn about the spiritual dangers in ministry, discover if God is testing you or is Satan attacking you, understand that ministry is battlefield and how to be steadfast, immovable on the battlefield, learn how the devil uses his wiles and schemes against us, and remember how to use your Spiritual Armor. We will also breakdown stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.

Part 2 is all about Preventing and Recovering from Burnout and Compassion Fatigue as we go through six areas that need self-care. In this part of the course we will provide you with practical ways that you can immediately begin practicing self-care. As you continue to serve God in whatever way He has called you, self-care is vital if you are not going to grow weary in doing good so you can reap at the proper time (Galatians 6:9).

Additionally, this packaged deal will provide 10 group coaching session where we will discuss the weekly assigned videos and do check-ins on where you are in each of the six areas of self-care that include: Spiritual, Sensory, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Intellectual.

Releasing in December 2021, this packaged deal will include the complete video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions with the author, Julia Bruce. In the 10-week program you will complete weekly videos and assignments and then meet virtually for a group coaching session to help you apply self-care where you need it. 

But wait! That’s not all! Check out this Bonus to the self-care course and coaching program.

BONUS: While this course and group coaching is not releasing until December 2021, if you’re purchasing this material, we know you need help now. So, if you purchase before the release date, we’ll place you in our new private Facebook membership page for free through the end of 2021. In January, this group will require a monthly subscription of $19.99. But it will be yours free through the end of year when you purchase the pre-release of the course and group coaching sessions.  

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

God is my Weapon

When we fight spiritual battles, we must put on the armor of God, who will fight our battles for us. He is our weapon, and the Bible is our ammo against the wiles of the devil.

Sweater weather

See our fall designs: