How do you find peace of mind in a chaotic world?
I’m not sharing anything new, but the world is a mess, and many are struggling to find peace of mind. This is especially true since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Anxiety levels are higher than usual, and many live with a near-constant gnawing underlying anxiety that is robbing them of peace of mind.
I’m not a doctor or counselor, but I am a God lover and dog mom who’s experienced the blessings and benefits of life with God and dogs! In this blog post, I’d like to share 3 all natural tips that have helped me deal with anxiety and create more peace of mind.
1. Take time to snuggle with your dogs
It seems like a no brainer to snuggle with our dogs (or other pet), but often, during a stressful day, we might whisk by them a dozen times not realizing their healing paws are there to help us . . .
The human-canine bond seems linked to a “feel good” hormone called oxytocin. It’s released in both humans and dogs when they interact, while playing, snuggling, walking together, or simply gazing in each other’s eyes. It also supports cooperation, social bonding, and feelings of wellness, happiness, calm, affection, and trust.
Dr. Edward Creagan Oncologist at Mayo Clinic writes, “A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can’t always explain it myself, but for years now I’ve seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.” ~
This quote is so true! From childhood through my adult years, dogs have been my go to all natural cure for anxiety, helping me create more peace of mind. Growing up, I had loving parents that were always there for me. I also had the most wonderful Springer Spaniel. I probably ran to him more than anyone else for comfort and calm, especially during hard times. There’s something about the presence of a dog that’s incredibly calming. That’s why so many people have comfort dogs to help them deal with anxiety.
Now, years later, as a wife and mother, I still see the calming affects dogs have on my entire family. We can often be found snuggling with our pets on the sofa, especially when life is tough. Our dogs also motivate us to get out and walk and explore the great outdoors, which is healing in itself! Whatever activity you chose to do with your dog, you’ll surely experience the positive effects! Even 15 to 30 minutes a day with a dog reduces stress and anxiety. Cortisol levels ( a hormone associated with stress) are lowered, and serotonin ( a chemical associated with well-being) is increased.
In short, dogs are like soothing rays of sunshine to the anxious heart, offering a warm loving presence and all sorts of all natural emotional and physical benefits!
2. Take time for family and friends
Life is busy, and if we’re not careful we might overlook one of the greatest gifts God has given us to navigate through this chaotic world— FAMILY AND FRIENDS. We were never meant to live in isolation, rather in community. Granted, not everyone has the blessing of having a close knit family and supportive friends. But family and friends come in all shapes and sizes. For some, their family is their church life group. For others, it might be a local community group. And for others, their family and closest friends are mostly their pets. Some family’s live near each other, others are an ocean apart . . . thankfully, we have phones and social media to stay connected as best we can.
Take time for family and friends . . .
Share your burdens, pray for one another, encourage each other, and help each other press on when life is tough.
In the family, life is brought not only to our doorstep, but into our kitchens, bedrooms, and dens. In the family, life is happening all around us, and it begs to be questioned, evaluated, interpreted, and discussed. There is no more consistent, pregnant, dynamic forum for instruction about life than the family, because that is exactly what God designed the family to be, a learning community. ~ Paul David Trip, Pastor
3. Take time for thanksgiving
Another all natural tip, on the surface, seems so simple—just be grateful, right? And yet, so many things keep us from having a grateful heart, such as bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, complaining, and so on. The devil would love to keep us bogged down with negativity. We must be aware of his crafty schemes and fight back!
Keeping an attitude of gratitude works wonders to ward off anxiety! Life doesn’t have to “feel” perfect to be grateful. There’s lots to be thankful for, if we look carefully. Give thanks to God for big things, little things, even seemingly insignificant things. They all matter! Don’t let worry, fear, or anything else keep you from pausing to give thanks.
God wants you to experience the peace and joy of a grateful heart. Why wait to give thanks? Start right now, and continue giving thanks throughout the day! God is good all the time, and worthy of our praise.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.Psalm 107:1
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:18
4. Take time for prayer
Last, and certainly not least, is prayer— a powerful all natural “medication” that has so many life-changing benefits! Despite all the comfort received from family and friends, and my beloved pets, I must say, it is time spent in earnest prayer that really pulls me through the toughest of days.
Prayer connects us to God— to his peace and presence, and the help we need.
God is our refuge and strength, an every present help in trouble.Psalm 46:1
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.Proverbs 18:10
Who do you run to for peace of mind?
Maybe you run to family, friends, a counselor, the mountains or some other quiet place, or maybe you sit and snuggle with your beloved dogs and cats. All these are wonderful, God-given comforts to soothe our pain. And we can thank him for each one! That said, if I may humbly suggest, never pass up the opportunity to talk to God. Prayer is most likely our greatest spiritual weapon against anxiety!
Prayer is simply talking to God like a close friend. During our times of conversation with God we may talk a lot or a little, or simply sit in silence. We might sing songs of praise or read and meditate on his promises. Whatever it is you do during your quiet time with God, know that God loves you, he is with you, and wants to help you.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!Psalm 91:2
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.Psalm 5:11
Pawz and Pray
Dear God, please help me to take time to enjoy the wonderful gifts you provide to help me find peace of mind—family and friends, my beloved pets, prayer, and thanksgiving—each one such a comfort when struggling with anxious thoughts. Amen.
You might also like to read: How I Overcame Depression With the Help of My Dogs
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About the Book
Unleash a richer, simpler, more meaningful life!
Pawz & Pray is a collection of 130 uplifting stories, scriptures, and prayers, inviting you to slow down, savor moments, and discover the secrets to a truly meaningful life. If you’d like to draw closer to God, and happen to have a sweet spot for dogs, this book is for you!
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