As we all know, life is a journey. There are ups and downs, and ups and downs, and sometimes just when we get to the ups… we experience another down…
I wasn’t sure why but these past 2 weeks have felt so overwhelming and chaotic. And not because of how busy it was but because of the emotions that came over me (once again). I guess anyone who falls victim to any kind of sickness or pain (in my case, chronic migraines) has an excuse to always feel down and tired… right?
When things become so overwhelming, we start feeling lost, anxious, confused, and just so exhausted. It’s not a positive feeling and it brings all of our anxieties and worries right up to the surface. This week, I started feeling hopeless, energy-less, had a lack of motivation to do things (even the things I like to do), and I just wanted to be isolated. I did not feel like myself, at all. So what did I do? I came to terms that my emotions were all over the place and that I needed to take time to ground myself and get my mental health back in check. I took the rest of the week off work, I paused all candle-making, and I logged out of all my social media’s, spending less time on my phone altogether.
What I needed was to JUST STOP and CALM DOWN.
When you start feeling lost and confused, this is actually a sign that you’ve already gone too far. In simplest terms, you’re just thinking waaaay too much and I will admit, I have become a professional worrier. But whether we like it or not, stress is a huge part of our daily lives. There is stress surrounding school and work, stress when we don’t get enough sleep, stress if we’re late for something, stress to eat well, and we even stress when we don’t eat well… stress is everywhere and we experience it every single day. According to the American Psychological Association,
“When considering the physical and emotional toll of increased stress, nearly half of adults (49%) report their behavior has been negatively affected. Most commonly, they report increased tension in their bodies (21%), “snapping” or getting angry very quickly (20%), unexpected mood swings (20%), or screaming or yelling at a loved one (17%).”– APA
What I realized during this week off is that my mindset and perspective about my current situation has been incredibly negative and that it NEEDS TO CHANGE. We obviously can’t avoid the stresses and problems in our lives but, we CAN choose to not be upset all the time, think positively, and still find joy in our everyday lives. When we choose to be calm, even during a stressful time or situation, we are practicing to be more self aware of how we feel and in doing so, we can talk to our emotions.
This past week, I decided to start every morning by staying off my phone, making a cup of tea or coffee, then listening to the wonderful Joyce Meyer. If you haven’t heard of her, Joyce Meyer is one of the world’s leading Bible teachers and speakers who, in my opinion, has beautifully turned all of her pain, struggles, and hardships into an amazing testimony. I found myself listening to her 3 part series called “Calm Down & Cheer Up”.
Let me tell you, I had no idea that I needed some sort of breakthrough. But it was only because I chose to take some time to calm down and listen to what God has been trying to tell me. As I listened to Joyce’s teachings, I was reminded of how crucial a positive mindset and attitude is to not only my mental health, but my overall health. With this said, I want to share some of the teachings that resonated with me the most this week as I believe all of us need to be reminded of these important statements every single day:
- Just because you have something to be upset about doesn’t mean you need to be upset! It’s okay and normal to feel upset as you too are only human. But, you have the choice to not live in the zone of upset all the time! It’s important to understand that your joy doesn’t need to be determined based on your circumstances.
- Stop letting your emotions take over your life! I found myself feeling so constantly exhausted and energy-less BECAUSE I let my emotions take over me. I let myself overthink to the point of thinking things to death. Thinking too much can only cause problems. Besides, it actually takes more energy to be sad than it does to be happy.
- Stop trying to figure everything out! Man. I have drove myself crazy trying to figure out every single symptom I’ve felt and that led me nowhere. You can drive yourself crazy as much as you want to but the truth is, you just can not figure everything out in your life! And, you don’t have to! If God doesn’t want to show you something yet, you need to be able to trust in Him and know that in time (His time), you will get some answers, but until then, stop thinking and accept at you can’t solve every problem in your life.
- Which leads us to #4: Just because things aren’t working out the way YOU want them to, doesn’t mean they aren’t working out for your good. I truly believe that God works out everything in our lives for our own good. A little silly metaphor that has stuck with me is that as dog owners, we don’t give our fur babies chocolate or anything that would harm them. In this scenario, God is not giving us everything we want when we want it because he knows better. My favourite verse says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Live one. day. at. a. time. as tomorrow can worry about itself! I feel like this statement is so overused that we forget how meaningful this truth is. The Bible says, “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).” So stop focussing on yesterday or worrying about tomorrow, focus on today and live in the moment you are in NOW.
- We are actually told that we will go through “Fiery Troubles” so don’t be surprised when you’re thrown another curve ball. 1 Peter 4:12 says, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” Even the Bible tells us that we will go through hardships and pain in life, so if something bad happens to you, don’t spend time pitying yourself and asking “why me?”. Instead, learn to accept that problems and hard times are inevitable and that everyone will experience them as they are needed in order for us to grow and mature. Most importantly, everything – even the bad things – happens for a reason. And more-so than not, the reason is much bigger than what we can even fathom!
- To be Hope-less means that you think nothing good will happen to you. To have Hope or to be Hopeful means that you still expect something good to happen to you, despite all that is ‘wrong’ in your life. The world is full of “joy-suckers” but we CAN still find joy as there is always, always something to be thankful for.
- Waiting is not a passive thing, it’s a good & needed spiritual thing! There are many things that we need to wait for in life and it’s hard to remain patient. For me, waiting for a diagnosis and now, waiting for when the headaches will end, seems like wasted and unproductive time. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings like eagles; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.”
- Take full responsibility for your own happiness & peace! Stop depending on others to give you happiness and stop letting others take your happiness away from you!
- You cannot do anything about something that you are not aware of. This is SO important! Learn to appreciate when God lets you know that what you’re doing is wrong! Whether it is a wrong action, doing, or a negative mindset, be grateful when He lets you know that you need to change something.
If you’re like me and tend to let worry, anxiety, and fear fester within you (without you even realizing it), this is a sign that you too need to make a change in your life. The only reason I realized that I needed to make a change is because I chose to listen to my body, took the time to calm down, and sat in God’s presence so that I could listen to what He’s been trying to tell me. And just because I’ve made this realization doesn’t mean that things will magically be all better and that I’ll stop having headaches. It means that even when troubles and headaches persist, I am strong and wise enough to be able to calm down and still find joy & beauty within all the chaos.