-Meditation of the Heart
Meditation is a wonderful way to stop and take a few steps away from a stress trigger. The thing that’s making your throat tighten, your temples throb, your fists clench, your heart race—–stimulating all those catecholamines we talked about yesterday that make your heart work harder.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:7
Take a moment to step back from escalating stress:
1. Take 5 deep breaths
2. Close your eyes
3. Picture those you love most in the world
4. Put the situation in the perspective of the Big Picture and ask, ” Is this stressor, at this moment going to make or break me?”
5. Focus on God…..cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) Ask for His help.
Develop and meditate on your mantra– the saying that brings you back to reality, the thing that keeps you going, that helps you persevere. The mantra I gave both my girls, as they struggled through Nursing School was, “Keep your eye on the prize” the effort involved will pay off, if you just hang in there.
If your favorite mantra is negative—-Lose it. No, the world does not revolve around you, you just think it does, sometimes. So, lose the “If you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself” mantra. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” mantra, turn it around…..”You may think the grass is greener on the other side, but if you take the time to water your own grass it would be just as green.” You get the idea.
Nelson Mandela said, “May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.” There are many to choose from, but few are wiser and more heart strengthening than the Proverbs.
“From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.” Proverbs 12:14
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Prov. 16:9)
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (Proverbs 12: 25)
“What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.” (Proverbs 10:24)
“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Proverbs 11:4)
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” (Proverbs 11:3)
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1)
“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks insult” (Proverbs 12:16)
“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)
“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. ” (Proverbs 13:10)
“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” Prov. 13:11)
“The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning” (Prov. 14:6)
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1)
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Prov. 15:4)
“A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel” ((Prov. 15:18)
May your thoughts today turn away from fear and towards He who is the light and the Strength.
How long has it been since you played kick ball? Grab a ball and some coworkers or friends and play a short game on your lunch break or after work. Including others in a fun activity helps everyone de-stress and lightens the day.
Read labels. Look at ingredients, salt, sugar, carbs, fiber protein. We’ll cover in detail those important numbers in the days to come and emphasize their magnitude on health, but for now just become aware of what you are eating and how many servings.