The Emotional Abundance of God

The point that the author of this article makes so beautifully is that God does not just act in our lives as the almighty God of creation, but He is also ever-present to us to uplift and encourage us in our inner thoughts and emotions. This is because our God is a God who is well-acquainted with human feelings and emotions. From Duncan Edward Pile…………………….

Understanding Peace — Dallas Willard

Understanding Peace

Peace, or shalom, is a kind of rest that comes from bedrock confidence in the holistic, universal provision of what is necessary and good. Hymnist Horatio Spafford offers one of the best descriptions of the effects and sources of peace: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.” Consequently, a person of peace does not attack others and faces attacks by others with calmness and without rancor, since there is an assured knowledge and experience of abundance. Such a one is neither hostile, suspicious, nor “touchy” to the point of offense. The wisdom that springs out of a life from above, says the Letter of James, “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace” (3:17–18).

From The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth. Copyright © 2014 by Dallas Willard amd Gary Black Jr. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

7 Strategies to Control Anxiety

scenic view of mountain during daytime
Photo by Johannes Rapprich on Pexels.com

 

Anxiety has become one of the leading causes of all diseases encountered by physicians with their patients — degrading overall health, adversely affecting work performance and relationships with family and friends, and costing consumers billions a year in medication and lost productivity for employers. As an anxiety sufferer myself, I try to make it a daily regimen to practice some of the tips and strategies I will mention below. All of the tips you see have medically and psychologically proven benefits!

SLEEP

Believe it or not, optimal sleep is one of the two most important ways to reduce anxiety. It really is true that the average adult needs about 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. Try something as simple as going to bed at least 30 minutes earlier than normal for 3 or 4 nights out of the week. And try to keep your bedroom as uncluttered and cool (65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal) as possible. And NO cellphones right before bed!!

BREATHE

Breathing correctly is perhaps the single-most important thing one can do to handle panic attacks and severe anxiety, due to the fact that correct breathing causes an autonomic response in the body that actually quells the hormones and nervous system responses that we experience as anxiety. The easeist technique is the “4 – 3 – 8” method. One breathes in, using the diaphragm, for 4 seconds and using your nose only. Then, hold your breath for 3 seconds; finally, exhaling through your mouth for 8 seconds. Do this at least 4 times in a row, and your anxious feelings will melt away!

TAKE A LAUGH BREAK

This is another technique that makes use of the mind-body connection to control or remove anxiety.  Simply login to Youtube and watch 10 – 15 minutes of funny videos ( I personally recommend funny cat and dog videos, and scenes from “Mr. Bean,” but all to your preference). Just make sure they are video clips that bring you delight and joy!

EXERCISE

We all now by now that exercise has any number of excellent health and wellness benefits. For anxiety reduction, my suggestions are really simple: Get outside (prefavorably when the sun is shining, and simply move around for 5 -10 minutes: This can include walking, stretching, light calisthenics, or simply waling from your parked care to a nice seat in a public park.

KEEP A GRATITUDE LIST

This can be a simple little notebook/notepad. Although it is best to have a physical pad to write in, since physically writing things down involves more of your brain, and has more overall benefits; if you feel you would lost a physical notepad, then by all means keep such a list on your smartphone, or computer so that it will not get lost, and will be easy for you to read and review. It does not have to be a long list, but try to write at least 3 things you are thankful for each day.

LIGHT A CANDLE

Studies have shown true therapeutic effects from breathing in various aromas for 20-30 minutes.  (This also works for essential oils). The aromas found to be most effective are: lavender; bergamot; frankincense; sandalwood; orange or orange blossom; and geranium.

CHEW GUM

Don’t laugh, but this is another one of those activities that gets the body’s autonomic system working for you. It makes no difference or flavor or style — simply chew a piece of gum for about 15 minutes and you will notice that anxiety before the big meeting melt away!

I believe these practices are not overly taxing, expensive or impractical. Give them a try for 30 days

scenic view of mountain during daytime
Photo by Johannes Rapprich on Pexels.com

straight and see what happens!

 

BOOK REVIEW: My Name is Hope: Anxiety, Depression, and Life After Melancholy

John Mark Comer is a pastor, but does not write this book from his pastoral experiences but rather from his decades-long personal battle with anxiety and depression. e does not offer pat answers or promises quick recoveries — in fact, quite the opposite. But what he does offer is the word in the title: hope. Hope in a loving God, hope that things will not always be terrible, and hope that God will stick with us whether we distrust Him, are angry at Him, or just simply exhausted.

Comer starts by defining some terms associated with anxiety and depression, helping readers see how they are different in some aspects, but also tightly tied together. Then he moves on to the root causes for depression and anxiety in a Christian — either some undealt with sin, or struggles such as perfectionism, workaholism, and unnecessary guilt. Once a person recognizes a root cause for their issues (with God’s help), repentance is always the first step to admitting your weakness to yourself, so that you become open to the help the Lord can and wants to provide you.

Following this, Pastor John Mark discusses the obstacles to well-being stemming from our minds and our bodies, and give some biblical and practical advice to begin to remove those obstacles. From there, he makes a biblical case for seeking community and storming the gates of Heaven with prayer, because God usually chooses to use both human agents and His direct work through the Holy Spirit to give us relief and growth.

Comer is very open and honest with his own struggles with anxiety and depression, but delivers his insights with hope and enthusiasm, describing how he won through many years of trials and different strategies before gaining some control over how his mind and body react to circumstances and his inner thoughts and feelings. This is probably the most practical, honest and encouraging book on controlling anxiety and depression for the Christian I have ever read. Most highly recommended!

*NOTE: As an Amazon affiliate member, I receive a small fee when my visitors click on the image below to view the product.