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When Life Feels Overwhelming: Seek Wisdom from Within
“When we pause and breathe, we ask questions that matter, and we find the answers we need.” — TRAVELING SPIRIT: Daily Tools for Your Life’s Journey
“It was only when we went inside for our search that we started to sense direction.” — Don and Bert Miller, HEART GUIDE: True Stories of Grief and Healing
At times, the world’s chaos may feel overpowering, especially when we are facing a stressful life situation. While we cannot always control outside circumstances, there are things we can do for ourselves to lessen our inner turmoil.
First, breathe. Take three, slow, deep breaths. Put your hand on your heart. Ask for guidance. Sit quietly for a few moments, just breathing.
After slowing down your breath, here are a few ideas you might try to calm a rapidly churning mind:
- Do something physical. Take a stroll outdoors. Exercise at the gym. Dance with abandon.
- Listen to music. Play songs that lift your spirits or give you inner strength.
- Read inspirational materials. Perhaps dig out a beloved book with spiritual guidance or life-affirming insights.
- Meditate, pray, or commune with nature.
- Repeat helpful mantras, such as, “This too shall pass” or “One day at a time.”
- List three things for which you are grateful.
- Release outcomes you cannot control (think Serenity Prayer).
During the pre-flight safety talk, we often hear “put your own air mask on first before assisting others.” The reminder is useful here too. When we calm our mind, we can then better help those around us.
We all have our roles to play in this life. We have our gifts, our passions, and our work that we do in this world. We may be raising children, spending time with grandchildren, teaching in schools, advocating for justice, or pursuing our chosen vocations. Hopefully, we are also healing, learning, and changing along the way.
We do not control everything that happens while we are here on this earth.
But what we can do is: Breathe, Ask for Guidance, Listen. And then, take the next small step.
Trust that you can do what is asked of you.
Trust that what you do makes a difference.
Peace & love,
Wonderful, helpful things to do. I need right now so thank you
Glad you found it helpful Judy. I think we all need moments to just breathe … but especially during stressful times. Best wishes to you!
Hello Diana, so well said, and what I often teach those I work with counseling… blessings to you! Charlie
Thank you Charlie for your counseling work. Seeking outside assistance from a counselor is another great way to practice self-care and healing. Our spiritual advisors, mentors, friends, sponsors, and counselors can often help us see things from a different perspective, especially during major life challenges. Blessings to you as well. : )
Sounds very Buddhist and Stoic at the same time.
Thanks Andy. I’ve never studied the Stoic philosophers, but the practice of inner contemplation (through meditation, prayer, chants, readings, or dance, and so on) is encouraged by various religions. Along with Buddhism, Science of Mind,12-Step programs, earth-centered spirituality and indigenous teachings (to name only a few) lend their influence here as well. For personal well-being, I appreciate reminders from various sources that encourage us to slow down, breathe, and reconnect with our heart. : )