Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stop Hurrying. Just stop.

A couple of months ago, a good friend gave me an honest obervation. "Robbie, every time anything out of the ordinary is coming up on your schedule, you get really stressed."

After I told her we would never be friends again, I thought about what she said.  :0)

She's right. Be it a speaking engagement, going on a trip or having relatives come over, I get near freaked out.

What to do?

This is not a new behavior but I have tried to quell my stress for a while now, and I've done a good job. But seeing a pattern in my life gave me an opportunity to address a specific scenario.

So, last week I had a speaking engagment on Saturday. On Tuesday, I started kind of watching myself, seeing if I could not get stressed. It worked and I was feeling fine. Until...

Friday night came and I felt my stomach tie itself into knots while my feet kept twitching. The stress arrived.

So now, what to do? I prayed specifically and asked God to give me peace and give me a strategy to combat the stress.

And this is what I heard. STOP HURRYING, ROBBIE. JUST STOP.

I took this seriously. I gave myself extra time the next morning to get ready. I purposefully breathed slowly. As I drove to the event, I made a conscious choice to not exceed the speed limit. (With me, this must be a conscious choice.)

When I walked into a ladies brunch of about 150, I noticed that I wasn't "freaked out." I didn't know anyone, but as I met the leader I felt comfortable. Many times when I go somewhere to speak, I will sit down but not be able to engage in conversation freely, because I am thinking about my talk and feeling my level of nervousness rise until I either have to leave or speak. :0)

Saturday, I talked to the ladies around me and laughed with them as if I was just hanging with some friends dressed in our sweats chatting about life. It was wonderful! So when the leader introduced me, the peace, HIS peace that passes understanding filled me up.

Are you like me? When we get nervous, the natural step to take is to hurry up. They go hand in hand.

So why not try this? Watch yourself when stress attacks. Purposefully slow down. Walk slower. Take extra time to get ready. How about choose the longest line in the grocery store?

Why not? Why not stop the hurry and enjoy those tiny little moments inbetween the tasks?

If you do this or do something else, share with me. How do you deal with stress?


Cheryl Barker said...

When I get really stressed and nervous, I stop and pray. Also, as I remember to do it, I even hand my situation to God by opening my hands and giving my worries to Him. I may have to do this more than once, but it does help!

denise said...

I like this Robbie. You've connected (or rather, God connected it for you) something that most have not. Hurrying creates stress, stress creates hurrying. What a vicious cycle. This is practical. I'm sharing.