Being overwhelmed has almost started feeling normal, hasn’t it? Every time we turn on the news, there’s a new disaster—wars, floods, violence, storms, tragedies, and plagues fill the airwaves. Social media is more of the same, along with arguing and name calling and hateful words. Even in the grocery store people seem short tempered. It can all be too much. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by life.
How do we stay calm and find peace in the middle of such chaos? I’ve found four ways to help avoid feeling overwhelmed.
1. Spend time in the Word.
My stress levels have a lot to with how much time I spend in the Bible. If I’m spending quality, daily time studying the Word, I’m less anxious and less overwhelmed. It keeps my focus on the big picture—the fact that God is still in control. If you need to find a great Bible study, the YouVersion Bible app is a great place to start. You can find Bible studies on specific topics like anxiety, stress, and fear. The app and its studies are free. She Reads Truth is another favorite. You can read the studies free online. There are other resources you can buy, such as study books, and there’s a great online community, including a Facebook group.
If you want to do even more, memorize verses. Memorizing Scripture is one of the best things I can do during an overwhelming time, because it keeps my focus constantly on the Word. If I can’t get my mind to settle, I can start reviewing verses to get my focus off my anxiety and back on God. Two of my favorite resources for this are the Hide His Word Facebook group and this great article by Ann Voskamp.
2. Practice gratitude
I keep a journal where I list at least three things a day that I’m grateful for. It doesn’t sound like much, but when I let this habit slip, I notice a difference in my anxiety levels and in my frustration levels. If you need help getting started, Ann Voskamp has a great free download available. I use these in my journal at the beginning of each month.
3. Turn off the news
I’m not saying bury your head in the sand and ignore everything going on in the world, but be selective. Don’t watch 24 hour news stations 24 hours a day. Read the headlines or watch a few minutes of news, then turn it off. Don’t let it take over your focus.
My favorite source right now is a three times a week email newsletter called The Pourover. It’s a Christian based, non-partisan company that just reports the news, then gives a Christian perspective on it to keep our focus on what matters. It’s so refreshing to read this! They also share great recommendations for podcasts, books, and other resources.
4. Monitor social media.
I’ll admit, I’m not always the best at this. I spend entirely too much time on social media, and I know it. But I filter what I see. I try to focus on my Facebook groups (which are mostly about books, writing, and crating). If someone stresses me out with too many political posts or too much vaccine info, I simply hit the unfollow button—we remain friends, and I can see their page any time I want to, but their posts don’t pop up in my news feed. It’s a simple action that has saved several relationships, along with my sanity.
In an overwhelming world, we have to find ways to protect ourselves emotionally and spiritually. This quote from Corrie ten Boom sums it up perfectly:
What helps you find calm in the middle of chaos? How are you protecting your heart from being overwhelmed right now?
All great points! I’m adding the quote to my quote book. Corrie Ten Boom is one of my favorite heroines & I love this quote.