When you aren’t feeling a sense of peace, simply notice your feelings. Don’t attach a judgment to the emotion, but do give them a chance to send you a message. Our emotions offer us helpful insight that we miss if we choose to ignore the less pleasant emotions. Buried emotions can lead to a breaking point that often manifests itself in depression. So next time a tinge of sadness, loneliness, jealousy, etc. presents itself – allow yourself to feel it. Don’t quickly distract it with work, a TV show or a cupcake. Be mindful of the present emotion, give it a voice, gain the insight you can, and often you’ll see, the emotion will pass.
Eastern or New Age meditation is making time to clear the mind completely. Biblical meditation is taking time to ruminate on Scripture. Choose which one you prefer, or a bit of both. Meditation strengthens your mind and calms your mindset in order to peacefully handle the stressful situations of your day. When I run, I like to be intentional with my breathing by attaching helpful affirmations for my day such as; “breathe in God’s love, breathe out God’s love.” You can incorporate breathing, yoga positions and positive affirmations that speak to your heart. Experiment and find what helps increase your level of peace!
Moving your body is nearly as effective as some anxiety medications. When we raise our heart rate through movement, it produces a calming effect on our bodies. Movement is an effective way to use the body to help the brain. Consistent movement contributes to more energy and better sleep. Our bodies were created to move so find some ways you like to move your body. One way to start today is by incorporating a handful of squats throughout your day – for example; every time you use the restroom, do three squats. To more effectively incorporate a new habit, attach it to one you already regularly practice.
*Plus a bonus and the most important – PRAYER! Mark Batterson has written, “Think of worry as a prayer alarm. Every time it goes off, you put it to prayer.” We also see this from Paul in the book of Philippians “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Not at peace? Present that to God and allow it to deepen your intimacy with him. Time and time again I have seen God show me, in the midst of my worry, that he is the good father who provides!