One of the most important tools that I use to fight nursing stress and just regular "day-to-day stress" is called the Golden Key. I learned about it in a small 6-page booklet with a bright golden yellow cover written by Emmet Fox. Fox suggests that stopping a negative thinking pattern and switching to a positive (God centered) thinking pattern instead is the key to real serenity and peace.
Now, I firmly believe that although I may not be able to control the first thought that comes into my head, I CAN control my second thought and my third thought, and so on. In other words, I can control whether or not I keep thinking those negative thoughts or not.
And here's how I practice the Golden Key. When I find myself worrying about a subject (usually my kids, or the future, or a goal that I want to achieve but just seem to fall short of, or some other thing that I think I (alone) need to make happen), I stop myself. I then switch my thoughts to a phrase involving the power of my God. My favorite phrase at the moment is, "All things are possible with God." But you can think of any comforting, God-centered thought that you wish. Some other nice Golden Key thoughts might be, "God is with me" or "God is my source for ______" (just fill in the blank).
I say it over and over until I get some peace, some relief from the fear and anxiety that I'm experiencing. And that's the point! Instead of worrying in a fearful state about the welfare of my son (for example) the Golden Key allows me to interrupt that negative thought pattern and concentrate on a powerful God-centered positive thought instead. We all know that if you feed it it will grow, and if you don't feed it, it won't grow!
Me projecting fear onto my son's life cannot be a good thing. It can't be good for him and it can't be good for me. Me believing that all things are possible with God is my answer to this. It's simple, it's effective and it's completely free.
Whereas my negative fear-based thinking is a vicious cycle that benefits no one, my choice to stop feeding it absolutely benefits everyone. When I use the Golden Key, I stop for a moment and recognize that I have an all powerful source available to me and that all things are possible through this source. Within moments the negative cycle is broken and God's grace enters my mind. I am granted peace from the negativity. My bond with God (my source) is strengthened and I become hopeful once again.
And Hopeful energy is very powerful energy!