John 16:33 - I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Peace. It eludes us. We rush around in life trying to cross the intersection before the light turns from yellow to red. But even though we crossed as fast as we could to get to the other side, peace is already a mile down the road. Peace is not something you can chase after.
In this world we will have trouble:
Yes, there is plenty of trouble to go around. And trouble in any one of these areas can disrupt our peace.
So off we go to dash through that intersection as quickly as we can. What we don’t always understand though is peace is not something you can chase after. It’s in the stillness that we find peace. Yet how many of us truly know how to be still. There, in the stillness, is where we can find that peace.
When you find yourself winding up inside, take a few calming breaths. Close your eyes and picture yourself beside a stream or an ocean where the water rhythmically flows. Take that scene and see every detail of where you are. The more detailed you imagine a quiet place the more you will relax.
Another way to unwind is to find a comfortable place to sit or lie down if you need to. Close your eyes as you did in the example above and take a few calming breaths. This time though contract and release different parts of your body. Begin with your feet and work your way up to your head. As you contract and release notice how your body feels. Is it becoming more relaxed or does it tighten up the minute you move on to another part of your body? If it’s tight, it may help to work on the muscles that are tense and tighten and release them again.
If you can’t find a place to calm yourself while indoors, get up out of your chair and take a walk outside. Begin once again with a few calming breaths. As you walk, don’t focus on the work you’ve left stacked on your desk, but notice your surroundings. Listen to the sound of birds singing or examine the leaves on the trees moving in the breeze.
There are many other methods you can use to be still such as reading a book, knitting, using adult coloring books or praying. Whatever you choose to do, remember to start with those few calming breaths.
Then as you return to your work area you may notice that you don’t see things quite as stressful as before. The calming exercises can also be used while you’re at home or even while in line at the grocery store.
Medium.com in their article, “Strategies to Find Your Balance and Inner Peace,” lays out some ideas on how to find peace. One of the ways is to focus your attention on things you can control not those that you can’t. That thing you’re worrying about happening isn’t within your control right now so why waste time worrying about it. Another way is to do good deeds. Helping others is a great way to get your mind off yourself and what is causing you to lose your peace. Read the article to find more ways to help you regain your peace.
Peace can be attainable in our troubled world especially as we realize that Jesus has overcome the world and is right beside us, as we find a way to be still instead of thinking that peace is something we can chase after. Jesus is our ultimate peace.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.