How to have peace amidst the storm of anxiety?

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I once asked myself, “How does one have peace amidst a storm?” As I further pondered the question, I realized that I needed to actually define what is a storm?  How are you able to define peace? With this article, I want to share with you my thoughts about peace. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines peace as “a state of tranquility or quiet; such as a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom, or freedom from civil disturbance.” Another definition of peace is “harmony in personal relations.” I would describe a ‘storm’ as a series of adverse circumstances that create unrest, dis-ease, anxiety, and stress.  In life, we may experience a lack of peace, or “rain”.  As we all know in life it rains, sometimes you may find yourself in the pouring rain, other times, you may be in an outright storm.

Peace is an emotional state or the desired feeling of ease in which you are without difficulty or strife. What is strife?  Strife is contention, disagreements, chaos, and other relevant descriptors that can lead to anxiety, irritability, and so on. No one wants to deal with these; however, they are a part of life. Unfortunately, we cannot always predict what life will bring us, but I have learned that life is like a melodious symphony if we can develop ears to hear

How do we hear? What do we hear? The Bible teaches in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God.” From personal experience, I know that reading the Word of God can help us to:

  • Learn spiritual truths
  • Be confronted with truth
  • Share the gospel of peace, thus allowing us to operate from a spiritual dimension
  • Change our perspectives on things

Hearing the Word of God can actually build our faith, and reading it aloud will build up our spirit. One of my favorite verses of Scripture is Philippians 4:8, which reads:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – a meditate on these things.”

By meditating on the right things, we are able to see the beauty in life.  Finding beauty in nature, such as a lovely garden and actively taking the time to smell the roses, can create peace. I love the flowers. For some reason, it is incredibly difficult for me to be angry or depressed when I am surrounded by them. Last summer, I decided to plant a flower garden filled with petunias, roses, azaleas, pansies, etc. As I watered the flowers daily, I noticed not only a peace spring up in me, but also a joy. I would take off my shoes and softly plant my feet in the grass for about 30 minutes to ground myself! (I will discuss this technique in detail in my EMF article) Nonetheless, you can have an incredible time thinking peaceful thoughts and meditating on the things written in Philippians 4:8 visually, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

You must allow yourself time to rest and breathe deeply. I don’t mean” baby’s breath”, folks since we were talking about smelling the roses! You should incorporate deep breathing every single day. You should engage in this activity consciously, even if you are only able to do it for five minutes per day. The article” Learning diaphragmatic breathing” in the Harvard Medical School publication, Healthbeat, details the steps to take a deep breath properly. Once you practice and learn this technique, it can literally shift your whole body towards healing. Taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths can help to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, decrease chronic pain syndromes, and improve focus and attention.

Other activities such as cooking, gentle exercise, playing golf, painting, or going for long walks at the park or around the lake can be incredibly calming. Interestingly, I started painting almost ten years ago, and it can be a wonderful time to connect with others and cultivate peace. I became stressed, however, because I was intent on painting perfect pictures. After several weeks of this and lots of frustration, I had an epiphany: What exactly is a perfect picture? For the first time I thought, “If I keep putting so much pressure on myself at work, in my relationships, and when I am trying to relax, it’s no wonder why I don’t have any peace!” I had to learn how to be okay with just painting – even if I painted the not-so-perfect leaf, the chubby angel, or a lopsided tree. I realized that it doesn’t matter! The bottom line is I could decide either to have fun with painting or make it another obstacle to achieving perfection. Thinking in this manner does not yield peace. Keeping your mind in the posture of peace and rest is key. If you have not already read Dr. Joyce Moore’s book, Purple MIND, “Peace & Rest”, please do so. In it, she explains from a scientific and biblical perspective how we are to operate in a Purple Mind, which facilitates peace and rest.

Lastly, I will share what Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 14:27.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

This is another good verse of Scripture because people, in their search for peace, often gravitate towards many things such as television, the Internet, self-help books, meet-up groups, yoga, and so on. But there is a peace that goes beyond all understanding, and that is God’s peace.

I know that some may read this and wonder, “Well, how can I have peace without the scriptures or believing in the Word of God if that’s NOT what I believe?” I will simply answer there is belief and there is truth, which meditated upon can and will establish your beliefs as you meditate on the Word of God.

The following are tips to cultivate peace in your life:

  • Be grateful at all times and know that God’s grace is sufficient.
  • Know that God loves you! If this does not ring true for you, study the Love of God and you will discover a holy treasure that cannot be adequately described.
  • Start a gratitude journal (this really helps!) List five things that you are grateful for every day. If you are like me years ago, begin by listing one item daily.
  • Begin each day anew; choose life and life more abundantly!
  • Do not judge others so that you, yourself, will not be judged.
  • Relinquish trying to control everything and put your trust in God.
  • Pray at all times.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary, online:

Moore JG and Chilcoat A.  Purple MIND Shield of Protection. 2020.

The Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers; 1982. Romans 10:17 NKJV, Philippians 4:8 NKJV, John 14:27 NKJV, and Philippians 4:7 NKJV, Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School, Harvard Mental Health Letter.  Adapted from Stress Management: Approaches for preventing and reducing stress, “Take a deep breath.” May 2009

Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School, Healthbeat,  ”Learning diaphragmatic breathing”, 2009




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