by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
So long, 2018, hello 2019! There is something about a new year that gives a renewed sense of hope. It’s like our internal optimist rallies and says, “This year is going to be my year.” It can happen if you determine to make peace your top priority.
As a therapist I know if you don’t have peace, you are not going to be happy. Last I checked, this broken world does not prioritize peace. It thrives on drama and chaos. To remain peaceful, you need to develop a plan to stay off the crazy train. If you follow these tips, you will not only stay off the train, you may avoid getting on the platform.
1. Pay close attention to what you are putting in your head. The need to be informed cannot override your need for peace. Too much time watching Fox News or CNN is correlated with insomnia, anxiety, depression, and chronic over-thinking. Predetermine how much time you want to spend listening to the news. Once you have hit your limit, turn it off. Don’t even let it play in the background, as your subconscious will pick it up. Limit your time on social media, as well. Remember, garbage in equals garbage out.
2. Begin each day with some quiet time of prayer, praise, or Bible reading. Even if it’s only a five minute Psalm or a short devotional. Open your day with your focus on God, and how He loves you. On your way to work, turn on worship music. It’s amazing how something as simple as changing the dial on the radio can be life-changing, but it can. Our local station, WBVN (104.5) is a perfect drive-to-work companion.
3. Increase your gratitude and decrease your anger. Keep a notebook by your bed. Each night jot down a couple of things from the day you enjoyed. Hot coffee and a warm bed are two of my favorites. Simple things to be grateful for. Then reflect on your day and see if there is anyone who angered you. If there is, ask God to help you forgive them and let it go. Give God a quick prayer of gratitude, then you are ready for sleep.
That’s it. Three easy steps. But what have you done with these simple changes? You have now opened and closed your day focusing on positive things. We all know when it comes to our diet, junk food and no exercise equals disastrous results to our health and waistline. Why would we think what we put in our brain would be any different?
I just read this in my Jesus Calling devotional, “My Peace is still your deepest need, and I, your Prince of Peace, long to pour Myself into your neediness. My abundance and your emptiness are a perfect match. I designed you to have no sufficiency of your own. I created you
That’s a refreshing drink of water to a thirsty soul, isn’t it? In 2019, do yourself a solid and bookend your days with Jesus. Let the world do whatever it wants, be as crazy as it wants, and realize that other than prayer, there is nothing you can do to stop the crazy train from rolling. However, if you stick close to the Prince of Peace, you do not have to be on board.