Calming Anxiety: Finding Hope
Close your eyes. Find a relaxed sitting position in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor.
Inhale deeply while counting to five. Exhale slowly while counting to five.
Continue to inhale and exhale deeply and begin to pay attention to the following.
The sounds that you hear.
The placement of your hands
The weight of yourself sitting in your seat.
The placement of your feet on the floor.
Now pay attention to your body. Make any necessary adjustments if you are feeling any area that feels tight or uncomfortable. Notice if there is any tension, soreness or pain in your body.
Invite the love and the light of Christ to remove the tension, the soreness and the pain.
I invite you to pay attention to your thoughts. Do not focus on them; just allow them to come and go. When you find yourself focusing on a particular thought, I invite you to gently and silently say the word “hope.” Continue to inhale and exhale deeply for about five minutes and when you find yourself becoming distracted by a thought, interrupt that thought by gently and silently saying, “hope.”
Conclude by inhaling and exhaling deeply. Gently open your eyes and say, “amen.”
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
What are practical ways that you can reflect through your life the knowledge that the Lord’s plans for you are not for evil?
Using each letter of the word hope (h.o.p.e.), write words that will encourage and remind you that the Lord wants to give you a future and a hope.
Inhale and exhale slowly several times.
Spend some time surrendering any thoughts, anxieties, frustrations that tempt you to believe that evil will prevail. You can do this by saying out loud, “Jesus, I surrender ____ into your hands.”
Next, spend some time listening for what the Lord would like to give you. You could also use the words you used when you created a word from each letter of the word hope.
For example, you can say, “Jesus I receive your (h)elp, the (o)pportunities to reflect your love, your (p)eace and your (e)ncouragement through your Word.” Wait for the Lord to reveal anything else He would like for you to have in this season.
Joycelyn Lewis is a member of Soul Care Collective’s Steering Committee.