Monday, August 11, 2014

Calm Yourself

Anytime an athlete I was working with was injured and panicking, my first priority was to get them to calm down so I could assess the situation. I would ask them to close their eyes, breathe in slowly through their nose, and then breathe out their mouth. This simple act of regulated respiration would help them to focus and find peace in the middle of their pain.

This meditative exercise is helpful even when the stress we are feeling isn't physical. Our circumstances can threaten to overwhelm us and we might feel that things are spiralling out of control. It's in these moments that we need a reminder to slow down our breathing and find a place of peace. A worship song by Matt Redman poetically describes how God wants to help us in these times. The lyrics simply say, "I'm breathing in Your grace and breathing out Your praise." That is exactly the reminder we all need when we feel harassed and helpless.

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