Don't Lose Your Marbles- Increase Your Stress Management Skills

Children have played with marbles for years. No matter which version of the game they play, the ultimate goal is the same- to hold on to their marbles. Any player that loses all of theirs is out of the game. So it is with life.

More and more, stress is a part of our everyday world. We live in a busy age filled with multiple demands pulling us in many different directions. Whether from projects at work, responsibilities at home, activities with the kids, homework, church groups, service missions—it all adds up. Sometimes life gets so hectic, the stress becomes overwhelming. When you find yourself plagued by stress, you may begin to feel that you’re losing your marbles.  
            What often gets people into trouble? For many of us, it is not having a realistic understanding of how much we can actually do. Just as a car can only go so far on a single gallon of gas, our productivity is limited by our energy level. The amount of energy we have is finite: we can’t use what we don’t have. To understand this concept further, let’s look at our energy as if it were the bag of marbles we fear we may be losing. 

The Value of Marbles:

When God created us, He gave us our individual bag. We can’t stretch it or make it any bigger- the size is fixed. In the bag, we place our marbles—little round balls of energy. We can keep a few marbles in the bag or we can fill it to the top. The choice is ours.
            It’s true that some people are naturally more high energy than others. Yet, no matter which type we are by nature, we can still maximize the amount of energy marbles we keep in our bag. How long we can last, how much we can do, depends on how many we have on hand to play the game of life with. The more we keep in our bag, the better our position to counter the everyday effects of stress. Over the next three weeks, we’ll look at different stress management steps to help us hold on to all of our marbles. 
            The first step is to build up strength by maximizing energy stores in preparation of what will come. To do so, consider the following:

·       Focus on the Positive: Nothing depletes energy faster than a negative attitude. Its effect drains you and those around you as well. Focusing on an attitude of gratitude, in turn, has the opposite effect. It consistently increases energy levels.  Keeping a gratitude journal or a short list of things you’re grateful for in clear view is an easy way to help keep focused on gratefulness. Avoiding negative people will help you hold on to the energy you have.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8

·       Healthy Lifestyle: When our minds and bodies are healthy, we naturally have more energy. Want more energy stores? Eat foods that are nutritious, maintain moderate activity and drink plenty of water. This doesn’t need to be taken to the extreme. Any change toward a healthier lifestyle will bring benefit. 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

·       Start Off Right: How we begin each morning, sets the tone for the remainder of the day. Feed both your body and your soul at the start.  Engage with God through prayer, praise or time in His word. This will plug you in to the ultimate power source and supercharge your marbles. Studies consistently show a nutritious breakfast is the single best way for both children and adults to begin with increased energy and improved performance. (Not to mention that skipping breakfast is linked to weight gain—who wants that?) Do both everyday and consistently add to your cache.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.  Mark 1:35

Join in next week for part 2 in our series. Until then, begin practicing these first three tips. I’d love to hear how they are working for you.  

1 comment:

  1. Sister Ann I love the analogy of the marbles I remember when I was young and played marbles they was such a fun thing to do...I never thought or knew that skipping breakfast is linked to weight gain. I hate eating breakfast in the morning. I can eat it later like two hours after I have been up but to eat it right away oh no...never done that it always made me feel sick...Good post and thanks for the comment you left on my post today I appreciate it. Have a bless day today