I remember during my late 20s into my mid-30s I felt overwhelmed and most of the time felt anxious about commitments I had to family, friends, work, and church. I was in a constant state of worry and felt unsettled.
Over time, being in that state of mind took a toll on my physical body. I developed hypertension. I had low energy. I suffered from migraines.
One afternoon, I was watching Joyce Meyer on television and became interested in reading her book, Battlefield of The Mind. I ordered it. That book set me on the course of seeking my own peaceful mindset. I wanted to worry less, improve my health, and experience a restful mind.
What is a Peaceful Mindset?
The Webster’s Dictionary defines a peaceful mindset as a mental state of calmness or tranquility. A freedom from worry and anxiety.
It is unlikely anyone can be totally free of worry or anxiety. Actually, both emotions are beneficial to us. They alert us to problems or situations that must be dealt with.
In the Every Day Bible, peace is described in several verses.
In the Old Testament it means “well being”. Proverbs 14:30 states: “Peace of mind means healthy body.”
Without a Peaceful Mindset
In the absence of a peaceful mindset, one can be fraught with constant worry and anxiety. These are conditions that can cause negative effects on our physical, mental and spiritual well being.
The impact on our physical health can result in the body responding with muscle tension, increased heart rate, and blood pressure. The body can also experience aches, pains, and fatigue.
Mentally, a person can experience persistent anxiety. Such persistence is frequently referred to as having an anxious mind. This can result in thoughts of impending doom, thinking something bad is going to happen or being in a state of hypervigilance.
A person’s inability to manage worry or anxiety can become problematic when it is occupied with anxiety about the future. Future outcomes about certain situations in life are unknown. Yet many of us still have the tendency to want to control or manipulate our external environment with what little knowledge or misinformation we have.
If healthy ways of coping with anxiety aren’t learned, then maladaptive coping mechanisms will be used to ease the anxious mind. Examples of maladaptive coping mechanisms include avoidance, denial, procrastination, emotional numbing, or self- harming.
Our spiritual well being can be harmed as well.
Spiritual health is described as,
The inclusion of a “Purposeful life, transcendence and actualization of different dimensions and capacities of human beings.”In the Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
I describe it as being resolute in one’s faith and spiritual beliefs. Our spiritual health promotes a balance between physical, psychological and social aspects of human life. A worried or anxious mind may get so consumed with negative thoughts that one’s ability to seek resolve in one’s faith or beliefs to cope gets ignored, forgotten, or even questioned. A person can also have unrealistic or irrational expectations of what faith is supposed to fix.
Benefits of having a Peaceful Mindset
As mentioned previously, worry has a function that can alert us to initiate change in our lives. We look for ways to relieve that worry. Effective coping mechanisms or skills are best to manage or cope with the stressors we experience. We can even get desirable outcomes when used correctly.
Examples of effective ways of coping include problem solving, good decision making, self-care, letting go, forgiveness, and acceptance. We don’t want to be in a constant state of worry about people and situations.
Most of us want that peace that has been promised to us in Isaiah 26:3, Romans 5:1, and Psalm 119:165. Having a peaceful mindset is a matter of choice for many of us. It can be obtained by being self-aware and mindful of that anxious mind, those maladaptive thoughts and behavior patterns.
A peaceful mind doesn’t mean one walks around with rose-colored glasses on or with his or her head in the clouds all the time. A peaceful mindset is when a person is mindful of what they are thinking, feeling, and being aware of those external and internal stressors that must be dealt with effectively.
It is important to use the appropriate coping skills to address them. The knowledge of one’s limitations, boundaries, and abilities is necessary as well, so one knows when it is time to seek outside resources for help.
Managing our worry and the anxious mind will allow us to have an improved quality of life. Our stressors can be confronted and managed effectively. Our beliefs and faith in God will keep us, especially when we know control over all things in life is not ours.
Obtaining a peaceful mind and keeping it can be difficult, but for myself, I rest in this Bible verse located in Isaiah 41:30:
“So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you. I will support you with my right hand that saves you.”
Mary Clark is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Counselor Supervisor with 20 years of experience providing clinical and supportive services to a wide range of diverse clientele. Her therapeutic focus includes decision making and coping skills, self-esteem building, conflict resolution, anger, stress and time management. She also has experience working with patients who suffer with Depression, Bipolar disorder and Anxiety Disorders using cognitive behavioral techniques.