Right now, the world feels like it’s in chaos. People are feeling deeply hurt. Much of our country is feeling deeply hurt and divided. There are riots in our cities. The pandemic has left many with loved ones who continue to be sick or who have died. Others have lost their jobs, businesses, and livelihood. How can you find peace and purpose when the world feels like chaos?
Fortunately, we serve a God who is good. Who loves us and wants us to have life. Not one of fear. Not one of chaos. But one of love.
Here are actions you can take to find peace and purpose when the world feels like its in chaos.
Right now, it’s not hard to find a source of anxiety. There are many different, hard things happening right now. It may be:
While some may say it’s better to not focus on what’s bad around us and only what’s good, I believe God wants us to cry out to Him in our struggles and stress. David did. He detailed his anxiety.
If you don’t name the source, it’s much more difficult to deal with, pray about, and overcome the source of stress. Begin by naming it, and maybe writing it down in a journal.
Next, remember who’s in control even when the world seems out of control. This is not the first time the world has felt chaotic. There’s been wars and death, slavery in our country and others, cities that are destroyed, rebuilt, and more.
In all those times, God was still in control. And now in this time, He’s still here, and still in control.
It’s up to us to turn to Him in our own hearts, our actions, and our lives. When we allow Him to control our individual lives, He can make a difference in the bigger world. But, it starts with each of us recognizing who’s in control, and allowing Him to take it.
Especially if you don’t know the extent of God’s love, His power, and control, read Scripture to find out. And if you’re already familiar, remind yourself with it daily. God has shown us the way to an abundant life…one of love, justice, and serving Him and each other. He says:
God loves you and me. He loves all those we see around us, on the television, and in the news. He wants us all to turn to Him and learn to live in His love and within His commands, an abundant life.
Look back at your list of anxiety. Now’s the time to pray over each of them. It’s not busywork or a waste of time. Prayer is a powerful tool. It:
Corrie Ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
But prayer does the opposite. It fills your heart and mind with strength as you converse with the one who is in control.
If your stress is regarding depression or sorrowful feelings about yourself, it’s vital that you take your thoughts and self-talk captive. In 2nd Corinthians, Paul admonishes us to take captive every thought that stands against the knowledge of God.
This means that any thought that goes against the fact that God loves you, is in control, and has a plan for you, is garbage and must be taken captive and cast away.
Right now, and when you’re stressed in general, how do you talk to yourself? Do your thoughts and self-talk stand against God’s truth. Or, do they speak love to yourself and others?
Start in your own heart and head, then you can move forward in actions.
One of the best ways to overcome our own feelings of helplessness and sorrow is to help others.
If possible, try helping an elderly loved one or neighbor who still can’t participate in her normal activities due to fear of sickness. Shop for them or spend time with them if you are well and can keep a safe distance.
Think of those who have been affected by injustice in your own community and help if you can. These can be racial injustices, economic injustices, homelessness, girls and boys clubs, soup kitchens and food bank deliveries, and more. There is hardship around all of us; people can use our help.
Help, pray and give if you can to show those around you the love of God.
As discussed in 9 Habits to Decrease Cortisol, practicing gratitude can decrease cortisol and stress. In fact, practicing gratitude can have lasting effects on health, including supporting the immune function, lowering blood pressure, and leading to better sleep. Each of these in turn can help when you feel anxious.
You can keep a gratitude journal of just 3-5 gratitudes per day if you’d like. This can become your tangible path to joy. As you pray for your stress and express gratefulness for all else in your life, you will start to see the miracle of life again.
Another miracle is God gave us bodies that can physically reduce our mental stress. There are many different ways to practice deep breathing to slow our internal chaos. One effective one is the 4-7-8 method. To use it:
Deep breathing can actually physically calm your nervous system, allowing you to gather yourself and your thoughts and take control again.
Note that with this breathing technique, you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth.
This entire site is dedicated to helping people take care of their bodies, spirits, and minds.
Taking care of your body through exercise releases endorphins that help you feel good and fight stress.
Eating healthy foods improves mental health can reduce cortisol when you reduce sugars.
And hormone-balancing supplements can support mental health. In fact, a few are known specifically to help with stress. These include:
Together, a healthy diet, nourishing supplements, and exercise can produce both mental and physical benefits.
Lastly, cultivate your own close relationships and social support. If you live alone or don’t have family close, it can be very tough. However, church is a great place to make new friends and find a support network.
Remember, it takes work to form and keep relationships. But, it’s absolutely worth it. And, it’s backed by science.
Research actually shows we actually release a natural stress-relieving chemical called oxytocin when spending time with loved ones (1). And laughter helps, too! Laughing relieves your stress response, relaxes muscles, improves your mood, and can even boost your immunity over time (2).
Times have been especially tough for many lately. How can you find peace and purpose now? Start within, then look to God, and finally take action on behalf of others. You have a purpose in the world, even when it seems like chaos.