and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
I talked to several friends lately plagued by bouts with stress. They cite a myriad of reasons and causes. At the heart of my own stress is that nasty enemy of peace, worry. Worry keeps me from relaxing. Worry complicates my fellowship with God. Worry raises my blood pressure. Worry occasionally gives me headaches.
tells us no, commands us, not to worry. About anything. Years ago, when I had tons of stuff to worry about, I memorized and meditated often on Matthew 6:19-34 (see below). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to those verses or meditated on them.
I seem to get some immediate, albeit temporary, relief in times of worry and stress with an exercise a personal trainer shared with me:
- First, be still. Seek a quiet moment or place alone. Even if you have to leave or hide.
- When you find silence and you are completely still breathe through your nose and fill your lungs (deep, deep breaths).
- Hold the air in for five-to-ten seconds.
- Exhale ever so slowly.
- Repeat the exercise three times.