Everyone can relate to stress. We all have it. At its core, stress is simply a threat—real or perceived. Your blood pressure goes up, your pulse quickens, and adrenaline rushes through your body.
Sometimes that reaction is good—like when you're in the middle of the road and a truck is heading your way. But most of the time, we don't function at our best in a state of stress. We all need to find ways to de-stress so we can become healthier, more productive people.
That's why you and I need to spend more time taking in God's beauty. You see, you and I were made to live in a garden—not in a skyscraper. When God created man, he put him in the Garden of Eden. He didn't put him in a concrete building. God made us to live in the midst of his beautiful creation.
The Bible says, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Psalm 23:2-3).
It's no wonder Psalm 23 is the most beloved psalm in the Bible. We can visualize both the lush green meadows and a calm quiet lake. Just thinking about those scenes relaxes us. On the other hand, if I ask you to think about rush-hour traffic, you're likely going to feel stressed out.
You need to see beautiful scenes and hear beautiful sounds in order to reduce stress in your life. Let me give you some suggestions to make this happen in 2017:
- Get outside every day. You need to surround yourself with beauty daily—whether it's just in your backyard, a walk around the block or even enjoying your lunch outside.
- Start the day with God, not the media. That means before you read any text message, check your email, or turn on the television set, talk with God.
- Intentionally put beauty around you. Whether it's pieces of art, music, a craft or something else, put beautiful things around you.
Imagine the difference those three steps will make to lower your stress level every day this new year!
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.
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