Five Tips to Calm Your Jitters

The big day is fast approaching. Maybe it’s your wedding day, your long-awaited European vacation, or your son’s graduation open house.

Or maybe it’s something distasteful—a surgery, a court appearance, or an awkward social event.

Either way, you have the jitters. It’s difficult to sleep. You feel keyed up. Thoughts and things to do zip through your mind. How can you find peace—God’s peace--in a whirl of activity and uncertainty?

Take a walk

Yes, you’re busy, but the motions of physical activity and getting outdoors in the fresh air surrounded by creation can impart calmness and perspective. In the end, you will be more productive.

Breathe deeply

Maybe it’s 2 a.m. and you’re trying to sleep. Empty your lungs and take a deep, deep breath through your nose. Briefly hold, then exhale slowly. Repeat.

Pour out your heart

God knows what you’re facing, but have you verbalized it to Him? Acknowledge that the situation is too much for you to handle on your own. Ask Him for grace to trust Him.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8 ESV

Focus on others

Your situation has hijacked your heart and mind. Totally understandable. But it’s like living with blinders on. For a few minutes or a few hours, remove those blinders and focus on someone else’s need. Serve them. Pray for them. Love them.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:9, 12 ESV

Set your mind on scripture

Scripture often has a calming effect. And it always realigns our perspective away from the temporal to the eternal.

Choose a verse … perhaps Isaiah 26:3. Repeat slowly and calmly aloud or in your mind. Think about the words. Emphasize different words to bring out different meanings. Consider other verses on similar topics.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV

These are some things that have helped me. Do all my anxieties evaporate instantly? No. But these tips pull me back into a safer, saner zone. I gain a better perspective on my life and future.

May the One who is the Prince of Peace and who tamed the boisterous waves of the Sea of Galilee, speak peace to your heart.

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