This time of year seems bring depression for some. For many it is a struggle whether it is due to them experiencing loss of family members, loss of job, haunting childhood memories, feelings of inadequacy in not able to afford gifts and etc. I have counseled with people before that this time of year is so dark for them. Instead of the holly jolly, Joy to the World type feelings they really struggle. My husband found this a few years ago and I want to share it in hopes that is can bring peace of mind to you or maybe for you to share with someone to give them hope.
10 Steps To Peace of Mind
1. LIVE IN A STATE OF APPRECIATION – Notice your busy inner-critic and fire him or her, this is the enemy trying to destroy. Instead, hire a loving and generous inner-appreciator, Jesus Christ. Make a commitment to sincerely appreciate yourself and your loved ones at least several times daily. Focusing on the positive and sincerely noticing things you appreciate in yourself and others brings a feeling of peacefulness and flow that you can feel in your whole body.
2. CHOOSE INTEGRITY IN YOUR AGREEMENTS – Only make agreements you REALLY WANT to make. Give up the “shoulds” and “need to’s”. You will feel the joyful result of your authentic choices and your relationships will be honest and clean. Let go of playing victim to someone else’s rules and requirements and instead honor and trust your own ability to choose wisely. You gain Peace of Mind by being true to yourself and honest with others. You don’t have to make every get together or buy expensive presents. Just enjoy Jesus Birth and let your mind know it is ok.
3. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF AND ASK, “AM I HAVING FUN”? – The word “silly” comes from the old English word, “seely” which means happy, blessed and blissful. Explore the possibility that creating fun and joy in your life goes hand in hand with creating shared meaningful experiences. When you are not having fun you are frequently adrift in mind chatter and stories, all made up by your big imaginative mind. Noticing when you are locked into “serious” mode helps you to recognize you have drifted from being in a state of ease and flow. Notice your busy minds with loving amusement and come back to what you know for sure is true………your breath, your feelings, your body sensations, your thoughts all in the PRESENT MOMENT and recommit to having FUN! Don’t let the dark thoughts rule. Push through and do something fun every once in a while.
4. BREATHE – We often are continually reacting to ongoing stimuli and distractions. We unconsciously stop our breath when we experience feelings of anger, fear or sadness that accompany our busy lives. Take a deep abdominal breath several times daily and use this time to focus inward…”how am I feeling right now?” and “what does the bible say in this situation?” Shift from being reactive to making a conscious choice in how you respond. You have to remind yourself that God is in control.
5. GIVE UP BLAME AND CRITICISM – Make a commitment to eliminate blame and criticism in your life and you will experience more joy, peace and loving connections. When you notice yourself starting to blame, instead turn it around and KINDLY ask yourself “I wonder how Jesus would respond to this situation?” When a critical thought arises, look for the feeling underneath and lovingly honor and be present with whatever it is. No judgments. Be Radical and shift from “Blaming” to “Claiming”. Don’t let the past hurt of others determine your life today.
6. ADOPT THE MANTRA “IT’S PERFECT EXACTLY HOW IT IS” – Stress is often about always wishing “IT” (your body, your job, your relationship, your life, you fill in the blank) was different than “IT” is. PEACE OF MIND is about noticing how “IT” is and embracing “IT” with love and acceptance. Because you can’t change something if you don’t first acknowledge it exactly how it is and accept it as reality. There is something very comforting about being nonjudgmental in accepting reality. It is only from this stance that inner peace and positive change can occur. God will never lead you where His grace can’t keep you.
7. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, LIVE IN COMPLETION – When our minds are bogged down with mental or physical clutter, it’s impossible to feel Peace of Mind. Taking steps towards completion can restore your sense of power over those things you CAN control and help clear out inner space. The important part is in the taking action, the moving forward with baby steps until you feel complete with whatever project you are choosing to focus on. So what if you can’t buy the 48” TV for a present. Give what you can even if it is a heartfelt homemade card. Most would rather have that anyway. Start with what you can do and feel that peace of “I did something and not just let it go by.”
8. TELL THE TRUTH – This is like a magic elixir! In your important relationships, whenever you hold back from sharing something important, keep significant secrets or for some reason choose not to face what you know to be true (don’t tell the truth to yourself), you create a feeling of stress or dis-ease within you. It’s as if there is a big clamp on your system and your flow is stopped. Even if you feel scared, and you very well may, telling the truth is the most honest, loving and efficient clamp release there is. Restore the Flow! Let people know that you need extra prayer during this time. Don’t be afraid to say you are over extended and can’t make every get together, ect.
9. ENHANCE YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – Learning how to identify what you are feeling when you are feeling it and building your ability to honor and express your feelings appropriately will definitely take you further on your path towards Peace of Mind. It all starts with noticing a body sensation, perhaps a clenching of your teeth and an achy jaw or maybe pulling or pushing sensation in your chest. For many people body sensations around the jaw often mean the feeling anger and those in the chest area, sadness. You may have a different experience of your feelings and a different knowing about what your body sensations are telling you. In any case, learning to pay attention to the wisdom your body is offering can be of great help to you. You can learn to notice what your sensations are, put a feeling name to them, practice accepting them without judgment and love yourself for having them. You can also choose to express (without drama or blame) or not, depending on the situation. Bring these feelings under control before they explode! Ask God to help you know how to express these feelings with Godliness and then let them go.
10. MOVE YOUR BODY – Sometimes, when you mind is stuck in overwhelm, moving your body can help create Peace of Mind. Especially, moving your body in unfamiliar ways. When you move around and focus on your joints bending and rotating in a myriad of ways, you feel silly and have fun and can’t help but leave your worry thoughts behind. Worry and overwhelm are about the past or the future. Go for a walk, dance around the house, do a cleaning chore you have been putting off..ect. It definitely takes you to a much different and better state of mind! I know for a fact this works!!!!
This article was taken from Dana Gramprie R.N., M.A. and I added several comments to her research.
This is the season to celebrate Jesus and let’s not forget the real reason and get overwhelmed with past memories and future fears. Just love on Jesus and lean on your friends.