To Regain Our Calm

spring borderThis Lent we will pursue the topic of Calm, how to achieve it or reclaim it.

We all have our moments when we lose all sense of calm. In today’s political climate even our nation seems to lack its ability to deliberate and make decisions from reasoned clarity. Add to that our society’s tendency to expect quick, if not instantaneous results, and our constant electronic connectedness, and we risk a state of endless anxiety.

Anxiety is rarely constructive. If we are influenced by a state of nervousness – hurry, insecurity, a sense of being unsafe—then we are unlikely to think clearly and make reasonable decisions. And we adults are not alone in this. Our children increasingly suffer from anxiety, too, which can lead to depression and contribute to an unhealthy sense of hopelessness.

We must regain our calm! We must learn to self soothe, to take time to gather our thoughts, to step back from the hurry and pressures of this fast-paced life. In the next few weeks we will explore ways to bring calm back to our personal, relational, spiritual, and occupational aspects of our lives. The good news is that an improvement in any area of our lives will improve the other areas as well.

You personally may only need to work in one category of your life. Perhaps your relationships do not cause you to worry, but your work does, or you are organized personally, but your family life feels chaotic. So pick and choose the suggestions you want to try. Any growth will reap rewards!

Personally, I have always struggled to maintain a sense of calm. Although it hasn’t come naturally, that doesn’t mean it can’t be achieved. If I can move myself away from worry and insecurity towards calm and confidence, you can, too.

Here are some enemies of calm:

  • Hurry
  • Overextension
  • Dwelling on our fears
  • Giving in to our fears
  • Disorganization
  • Indecisiveness
  • Procrastination
  • Negativity
  • Selfishness
  • Fear of the future
  • Inconsideration
  • Unwillingness to say no
  • Failure to plan
  • Weariness
  • Poor prioritization
  • Weak self-discipline
  • Insufficient self-confidence
  • Too little prayer or meditation

And perhaps most importantly

  • Lack of trust in God

Do any of the above sound like areas you struggle with? Good! Then you know where to start. This Lent can be a beginning of growth, and strides can be made by Easter!

Here’s your first step. Become aware of when you lose your sense of calm. Are you feeling pressure or even panic? Is your breathing shallow? Are your palms sweaty? Are your muscles tense? Does a quick escape sound tempting, either out of the room, or out of the relationship, or out of the job?

Take a deep breath. Take a step back. Are you in real danger, or does it just feel like it? Think for a moment. Is your body in charge or your mind? Do you need a break to regain your composure, even if it’s just to count to ten? Are you overtired, overworked, or overwrought? We need good rest to be at our best, whether that means going to bed earlier, taking a day off for fun, or setting aside ten minutes to pray.

And yes, all those wise choices we know we should make really do take a toll if we disregard them. Along with rest, we need regular exercise, healthy diets, hydration, social time, creativity outlets, and attention to our spirituality. How are you doing on those areas? Which one, or ones, need attention?

Here’s your homework for the week. Notice when you’ve lost your calm. Think about the areas of balance where you might need to make some changes. We will begin to tackle strategies next time.






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