One of the questions I get asked is what I do to releve my stress. Working with my hands is an amazing stress relief.

Have you ever swung a hammer just for the pleasure of swinging it? What about running a whetstone down the blade of a knife, or drawing a sawblade across a board? The feel of working with my hands is one of those pure pleasures that I retreat to from time to time.

It’s not just the product of the work that relieves me either. It’s the smell of sawdust, the sound of the saw cutting through the wood, and the feeling of rough lumber becoming smooth. I love knowing that not only is the tension between my shoulders being relieved, the stress is being used to create something that I can look at for years to come. If you look at the things I have built, you can tell if it was a stress relief or just because we needed it. Nails or screws tell you this. If I want to relieve stress, I’ll use nails. There is just something about feeling the impact of the hammer on the nail head as the sharp ping cries out. I use screws when something needs to be done quickly.

Here’s the question for you to think about. What do you do to relieve stress? As men, we need stress relief. While we don’t run and hide from conflict like the modern Church often teaches, we also don’t seek it out. Because of this, we must be ready for the stress that comes from conflict, and also the stress when we actively seek to mollify instead of defeat a conflict. There are times when we will delay a conflict in order to protect someone, and this causes stress. There are also times when we are unable to reach a result that we find satisfactory. So what do we do with the stress from these events?

I’ve already told you one of the things I do, woodwork. Another thing I do is climb on my Harley for a ride. I also write. Each of these gives me a different kind of relief. A long ride on the Harley is great to leave my stress behind. It gives me time to release my thoughts and enter a world that is just me, the bike, and the road. Writing lets me put my stress or the things that cause the stress down on paper. Sometimes this can lead to a post here, or simply an entry in my personal writings, but it always leads to relief. Woodwork though, it allows me to combine pleasure with the work of relieving the stress while producing something.

Here’s my challenge to you, find something that relieves your stress that gives you a permanent product. Let me know how it works for you.

Oh…And Jesus swung a hammer for quite a few years, and we don’t read about him having any stress issues, do we?

Until the Whole World Knows,


  1. jelillie says:

    Thanks Paul, When I am stressed I work in the garden or forest. Nothing like pulling kudzu vine to get rid of the inner pain. I also play piano (usually something really angry) or like you I write!

    • Paul S says:

      Do any chopping of wood out there? My granddad used to spend time chopping wood to calm down, only now do I understand.

  2. i know for me i go in my room and play guitar…it doesn’t have to be a specific song, but just playing my guitar helps me to relax and forget all the stresses I was having before

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