Prayer and Meditation for Tough Times
When times get tough or seem uncertain, self-care is so important to maintain a sense of normalcy. As you continue to eat right, exercise, connect with loved ones and get adequate sleep, consider adding meditation and prayer into your day.
“As part of any lifestyle, meditation and prayer are gifts that you give yourself,” said LuAnn Trutwin, Vice President for Mission at Avera Health.
Meditation offers a number of health benefits, including:
- Improving mental and emotional health
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Increasing positive feelings
- Lengthening attention span
- Improving sleep
Essentially, meditation allows you to settle into the present moment — no longer ruminating over the past or worrying about the future. Metaphorically speaking, you go up onto a balcony and you look down at the situation rather than swimming through the confusion.
If you practice a religious faith, this quiet time is important to connect with God about your concerns for the future.
“To me, prayer and meditation give me the opportunity to listen for the gentle words of Jesus, how he speaks to me and what he is inviting me to do,” said Trutwin.
Perhaps you’ve never sat down for a moment of meditation and prayer. Follow these simple steps to get started:
- Find a quiet environment — in your car, an empty bedroom or even a closet.
- Get into a comfortable position, most likely sitting or maybe even lying down, and allow the peace to help you be still.
- Focus on relaxing every part of your body.
- Observe your thoughts, emotions, sensations and breathing.
- If you wish to pray, tell God what you are worried about and ask him for what you need.
If you can, don’t rush the process of an effective moment of meditation and prayer. When time is limited, concentrate on using every available moment to renew your mind and spirit.
Include thoughts and prayers about gratitude, which is a mood game-changer. Thank God for your blessings — food, water, time with family and community. Knowing that he has met your simplest needs can put things into perspective.
If you continue to have worries, Trutwin encourages you to write down your concerns on one side of a sheet of paper and your blessings on the other side. Stick the sheet of paper on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror with the positive side visible.
“Try to look outside of yourself and your situation as well,” said Trutwin. “During hard times, people often discover innovative ways to help one another or make others smile and laugh. Small, joyful moments have been scientifically proven to change your outlook on a situation.”
On a final note, it isn’t healthy to allow negativity and fear to rule your mind or actions. At some point, you will have to release them, to let them go, in some technique. Either through a change in mindset, meditation or surrendering the situation to God.