Have you heard the expression, “Keep Calm and Carry on”?
There are lots of articles about the importance of being calm and how to get there. But the key question really is: Why do we need to be calm?
The science behind being calm is that it is healthier for our minds and bodies to be calm. Research at Johns Hopkins Medical School revealed that “People who feel angry often and fail to deal with it well are more likely to have heart problems…; the more intense or frequent the blow-ups, the higher one’s heart risks.” Why? Anger causes the body to produce stress hormones known as catecholamines, which increase our blood pressure and “play a role in the development of artery clogging plaque….” (Source: neuroneeds.com)
You could say we were created to be lovers, not fighters.
At Emory University Medical School, researchers have concluded that stress “can activate cytokine molecules causing inflammation…and behavioral responses to stress, both of which are linked to serious illnesses including cancer and heart disease”.
Stress also puts most of us into a fight or flight state. During this state, our brain interprets the stress as a threat. Our brain actually starts to “secrete hormones that tells our nervous system to prepare our body to take drastic action”.
I’m going out on a limb here and say, we have all done and said things in that “fight or flight” state that we regret.
We feel our blood rushing, our breath gets short, we feel a tightness throughout our body, and, at times, everything can seem like a blur. In this kind of situation we are more likely to do something outright foolish, making matters even worse.
Sadly, if we get used to dealing with stress through a fight or flight mentality, our brain will start to overreact to any unfamiliar stress and this could lead to one getting stuck in an unhealthy, response loop. This kind of unhealthy response loop has been linked to obesity, depression, and diabetes.
Are you a calm individual, or do your emotions rule your life? Personally, I seem to fluctuate between the two, leaning more towards calm, but there are those times when…
I have a dear old friend that often says, “I hate it for ya” when anything happens you wish had not. And I do strongly dislike those times when I am no longer in control of how I feel or how my body physically reacts.
Calm is not developed in the world. I believe it is developed at home.
Proverbs 17:1 tells us it’s better to have a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife.
Our homes should be a place of peace and comfort. A haven from the outside world and all the pressures and stresses it can bring.
From The Home Beautiful, “The Sweetest Type of Heaven—Home should be made all that the word implies. It should be a little heaven upon earth, a place where the affections are cultivated instead of being studiously repressed. Our happiness depends upon this cultivation of love, sympathy, and true courtesy to one another.”
If you find yourself in a home situation that feels less than tranquil, what can be done?
The short answer is to be calm.
Here’s how can we get there:
Get a good night’s sleep and eat well.
Cultivate a positive attitude.
Find and do things that make you happy.
Simplify and organize your time/daily routine.
This next step can be much harder said than done but try to step back. Be more rational and less emotional. Sometimes we just need to remove ourselves from a stressful situation so we can try to get calm and think rationally.
Develop a support system, and most importantly, I saved the best for last, take it to God.
“As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:16-17 NKJV
Your heavenly Father is waiting with listening ears. He longs to be active in your life. He wants to answer your heartfelt prayer:
“Father, please help me be calmer. Please help me to exhibit your love and patience to those around me. Help me to make my home a comfortable, safe place for my friends and family; for myself. In invite you into my home and into my life. Amen!
Lou Holtz, former football coach for the N.Y. Jets, once said, “Remember, it’s not the load you are carrying, but how you carry it.”
May I suggest if you are attempting to carry it alone, you will fail.
We are told to cast our burden on the Lord.
I looked at synonyms for the word ‘cast’. It gave me hurl, chuck, and fling, to name a few.
He did not say gently hand them over. He did not say leave them at the gate and I’ll pick them up later, He said hurl them at me and I will sustain you.
We are to be different than the world. We should react to problems differently. We should mourn differently. We should comfort differently. Our homes should reflect the peace of God and the love of the Jesus and the calm of the Holy Spirit. It’s not always easy, but we keep trying. If we fall, we get back up. If we stumble, we catch our footing and we keep running.
I found this by Jeff Stott online this morning at truthappliedjs.com and it rang true for me. One of the things God wants us to experience is inner calmness. Instead of worry, God wants you to experience peace. Instead of anxiety, God wants you to know inner quietness. When life is rough on the outside, He wants you to be calm on the inside.
Look at Psalm 131:2 which says, “…I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me” (NLT).
Part of self-control is calming and quieting yourself. Instead of being annoyed and angry over things that really don’t matter, calm and quiet yourself.
Proverbs 17:27, “The one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm” (MSG).
One of the reasons why we let things like worry, anger, fear, and bitterness get a hold on us is because there are some things we don’t understand about God, don’t understand about the situation, about ourselves, or about the other person. Understanding and wisdom are weapons against Satan’s attack to bring you down with worry or fear.
Isaiah 7:4 “Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering sticks….” (CSB). King Ahaz was being threatened by two other kings. God told Isaiah to tell King Ahaz to “calm down and be quiet.” Have you ever had someone tell you that? “Calm down and be quiet.” That’s good advice. God wants you to experience an inner calmness even though you may be threatened or have legitimate reasons to stress out. God says to you and me today. Be calm.
But how do you do that? How can you and I grow in understanding and experience this inner calmness that the Bible talks about? Jesus addresses this in John 14.
Jesus says beginning in verse 6, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.” Are you troubled today? Are troubled about your marriage? About your finances? About your health? About what people will think? About what has been done to you? About what might be done to you? Are you troubled by what’s going on in your life or in the world? Here is what Jesus says to you.
He says, trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (NLT)
Jesus instructed His disciples and us, to put our trust in four things that He promised would provide courage and renewed strength for our troubled hearts. Four things that would help them (and us) be strong and stay calm.
Trust in Jesus. Trust He is who He says He is.
Trust in a place. Jesus wants us to believe in heaven and that He will come again and take us there to be with Him, if that is what we want.
Trust in a promise. He promised that when everything was ready, He would be back. Know that this will happen!
Trust that Jesus has a plan. Trust that Jesus is the plan. Believe that when Jesus said, “I am the way,” He meant it. It was a truthful statement.
So Jesus says if you want to deal with the problems and troubles this world brings, let me tell you how to keep the right frame of mind as you face them.
Believe in Me. Trust Me. Depend on Me. Place your faith in Me for salvation, but also for guidance.
Believe in My Father’s home. Believe in heaven. Believe it is real and that someday all this trouble will be over, and you will have rest, you will have peace, and all that you have hoped for will be real.
Believe in My promise. Jesus will return for His people. Expect that to happen. Look forward to that day.
Believe in My plan. Follow Me.
Oh, and, stay calm.
by Jeanette Stark – Thursday, January 26, 2023.