As I woke up that morning, the knots in my stomach were still there. The anxiety that I had been working to push down, kept reoccurring in my stomach and threatened to over take my body through a racing heart and strange thoughts. “Not again, Lord. Not today.” I softly whispered.
I trudged upstairs to my chair to take my fears and anxieties to God. It was the only place I knew to “dump” them for the day. Over time and practice, I found the anxiety lessened and I got more and more peace in my daily living.
What I found out in this process was that science verified what Paul told us to do over 2000 years ago. Researchers have found that practicing peace can broaden and build the neuron receptivity in your brains so that as you practice peace, you broaden your capabilities to have more peace. This is true of many positive emotions (gratitude, joy, love, interests.) The Hebbs principle is that neurons that fire together, wire together. You are actually rewiring your brain!
Try out the following 5-step Process to Practicing Peace in your life to reduce anxiety over time. Ask God to reveal to you what is underlying your anxiety. I am sure this framework can bring you closer to freedom from disquieting thoughts and emotions as you practice bringing everything to Him.
Paul writes in Philippians 4:6-7
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. New Living Translation (NLT)
1 Don’t worry about anything;
I don’t know about you, but I seem to have been born with the worry gene. It seems to be a natural part of me. However, God tells me not to worry. In Matthew 6:27, Jesus challenges us about worry with this question: “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” I can’t say that worrying has helped in any area of my life. I do have to make a conscious effort to choose not to worry.
2 Instead, pray about everything.
What do I do then with all my emotional energy and concerns? I am to pray about everything. I can imagine God holding my hand, sitting beside me in my chair, listening to my concerns intently. I can give Him all my emotions, my fears, my joys, my wonderings, my tears. I can ask Him – What do you think about this? What is interfering with that? I can bring Him all my myriad of questions and know I can leave them at His feet.
3 Tell God what you need,
Besides praying and asking Him questions, I can tell Him my perspective. I can tell Him what I think I need. I might need Him to carry my load or put a hedge of protection around someone. Or I want to be free from worrying about someone else’s issue and let Him take care of it. Or I might want discernment and wisdom on my next steps in a relationship. Whatever it is, I am to be specific in what I think I need. I also want to take time to listen and hear what He might want to tell meJ
4 Thank him for all he has done.
I then can take time to thank Him for hearing me. I know He’s been listening. I thank Him for caring and loving me. I thank Him for being my Abba Father. And depending on what I am praying about I often thank Him for taking over.
5 Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
When I practice these steps, the peace I get in return is amazing. Do I do these steps every day? No. Could I? Sure. Do these steps take a lot of time? No, especially after you get the framework down. Do they reduce anxiety and bring peace? Yes.
Each of us have choices each day to bring our worries to God and take our one precious life to Him and release the Holy Spirit’s peace within us each day.
I would love to know how you and God experience and grow peace in your life. Post on NancyBoothCoaching Facebook or in the comments below. Habits take a while to develop but the peace that passes all understanding is worth it. Blessings to you all!
Thanks as always Mary Lou for your encouragement!