Last week I had a really difficult day…. (2 minute read)
After arriving home, taking care of dinner and all the other evening tasks, it was time to relax. The problem was, I found myself not able to relax. Instead, I heard the little snack size Snickers candy bars calling my name. Then I heard a glass of wine calling my name. I knew either one of these choices or both would offer me instant relief to the day that I had just survived. After all, I deserved whatever was calling for my attention to help me find relief, right?
But wait, there’s more! The beautiful cool evening breeze and the idea of taking my Golden Retriever outside for a long walk was another choice I could make, and on this evening, this is the one I chose. Walking at a relatively slow pace I breathed in the fresh air and became aware of the beauty of living in Florida in February. Relaxation began taking over! Once back home, I sat in silence for a brief time simply breathing… allowing no immediate needs to tug away at me. I was glad that night I chose the walk and the stillness.
Relief or Lasting Restoration?
What about you? When you have tough days and difficult situations that cause stress and anxiety, what choices do you make? Do you choose instant and temporary relief (lots of chocolate and wine) or do you allow yourself to be restored (stillness, breathing, walks, etc.)?
In his book, Get Your Life Back, Author John Eldredge discusses the many ways we can find lasting restoration for our souls. Restoration, not instant relief, brings about peace and balanced living….. free from anxiety. Lasting restoration allows you to re-fuel your empty, exhausted tank and provides many other good nutrients you may be needing in your life. So, how do you begin this restoration process?
First, be aware of your go to behaviors throughout the day. When you feel stressed or under pressure, do you reach for food and eat mindlessly? Maybe you start thinking negative thoughts that turn into bouts of anxiety? Maybe you get upset and yell at everyone and everything that gets in your way?
I challenge you the next time stress, anxiety, or difficult situations find their way in, allow yourself to retreat to a quiet spot, pause, and become still for one minute as you take several slow and deep breaths. Acknowledge the feelings going on inside but do not act on them, rather keep your attention to your breathing as you allow these feelings to pass. You may also want to say out loud or silently, “God I give to you all the people and situations in my life.” Repeat several times. John Eldredge calls this the “One-minute pause” exercise. Do this through out each day and every evening. Make it a habit and begin living a life filled with more peace and tranquility!
What are you needing in your life right now? Instant temporary relief or lasting restoration?
What are some ways you restore your soul? I would love to hear your story!
Remember, Your Life Matters!
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