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Anxiety busters

Anxiety can be a big deal. I know, I’ve lived it and continue to deal with overcoming its challenges. Our brains and bodies and nervous systems can cause all sorts of havoc and experiencing anxiety can be very distressing not only because of the physical sensations but also because of the intrusive and scary thoughts and memories that we can have, especially if they are coupled with other things like trauma or depression. When we are in the midst of this it can be very difficult to separate what we are experiencing from the reality that we are not our thoughts and that what our brains are doing are not real experiences in the moment. That’s not to say that we are not experiencing them, it’s just they are not in the real world. Thoughts are powerful but at the end of the day they are just thoughts and with time and effort we can replace them with Truth.

Our fight / flight / freeze mechanism can keep us in that heightened state of stress and anxiety and troublesome brain activity. So practically what can we do to alleviate some of these symptoms which many of us are facing on an almost daily and nightly basis?

  1. Monotasking

Sometimes it can help to slow down and focus on just one thing at a time to calm down that frantic sense of the many things we need to do that can leave us immobilised. I find that if I am struggling then if I set a five or ten minute timer on my phone I can focus on a task at hand for a few minutes and get ‘out of my head’ a bit more because I have a goal at hand to achieve. That doesn’t mean troublesome thoughts don’t exist but I’m not merely sitting with them and getting lost in them or overwhelmed by them. I’d have still have done my dishes or made something to eat in the meantime, or accomplished whatever small goal I might have, and then be able to take a break and go on to the next thing.

2. Eating well

Speaking of something to eat, it’s important to fuel up our brains and bodies but when we are running on high levels of stress it can be hard to get past the anxiety and depression to be able to take care of ourselves and focus on eating well. Planning in advance during the times when you do feel a bit better or asking someone for advice in this area can help because nutrition will help build us up and provide the energy that our brains need to operate better.

3. Breathing

Deep breathing can help calm the nervous system and get us out of fight / flight mode when thoughts automatically pop up causing us distress to think that there are things we need to fight or flee from. If we can calm our bodies to be in a state of rest and digest rather than fight and flight then we can be better placed to calm that anxiety and get on with our day more productively and healthily. This can take time and practice but it is good to know that something so simple as breathing can help with our wellbeing. Breathe in deeply through the nose, and exhale for a longer count through the mouth, and repeat as often as required to calm the nervous system.

4. Talk to a friend / get support

Anxiety and distressing thoughts can be overwhelming, especially if we feel like we are going crazy or don’t realise that these are ‘normal’ symptoms. Sometimes we need the reassurance that we are not alone, that we are not going to act on these scary thoughts (some of which for heightened anxiety include suicidal or harming thoughts) and we can diffuse what we are going through by chatting to a friend, or a counsellor. Spending time with people, making connections can all help to keep us grounded in the moment that we are in and out of our heads. It also helps to know you’re not the only one going through what you are and that there isn’t something wrong with you for experiencing anxiety and stressful thoughts.

5. Exercise, rest and time outside / in nature

It really helps the mind to keep the body moving, especially if this can involve getting fresh air and exercise outside or going for a walk in nature. There is something calming about the pace of nature and if we can engage our senses to notice the things going on around us in the here and now that can help us get outside of our own heads. That doesn’t necessarily mean distressing thoughts or feelings will automatically go away but they will be alleviated in the moment. Rest and listening to our bodies is also important so make sure you get good sleep as well, and if need be have a nap during the day.

6. Things you can’t control

Our brains are processing so much and especially with the things going on in the world right now it can feel hard to ‘switch off’. We might find ourselves worrying about so many things outside of our control that we can’t do anything about whether in our own lives, those of our friends and families or at the world at large. We can try to make a conscious choice during our waking hours to engage with what we can control rather than worrying about what we can’t. I know it sounds easier said than done, but at least we can try.

7. Creativity

Whether it be cooking, gardening, colouring, drawing, dancing, playing an instrument, or reading or writing a blog or a book, creativity can really help to keep us grounded and engage our hands and our minds in a productive way. So too can learning something new. It might help ease some of that stress even if we start small at first.

8. Faith and the Reality of God

The other week I was trying things to help alleviate anxiety and stress – deep breathing, I started adult colouring again, and for the first time perhaps in years I tuned in to a Ted Talk. The remarkable thing was that that very Sunday at church my pastor talked about all of these things as ways and means people turn to in order to help with stress and anxiety and seeking wisdom (including the ‘art of decluttering’) in how to live and get through these stressful days. It really did make me take notice, as sometimes you know God Is speaking specifically to you. However, he went on to discuss the importance of seeking our wisdom in the True Source of hope and wisdom for life, and the only True source of real Peace – Jesus Christ. We need to ask for the Spirit’s help to reveal the reality of these things to us, we need a saving relationship with the Living God, and that reality is only found in Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that while I may try various things to ‘help me through’ He Is The One Who has saved my soul, Who will hold me fast through this life and bring me safely to Him after death, and Who Is with me each and every day on earth. I have something better than mere ‘tools and techniques’ to get me through, I have a Living Saviour Who loved me and gave Himself for me and Who will be with me in every anxious moment, helping me to look to Him and find Peace. ❤

Photo by Belle Co on

Someday I will be gone from this world….

Someday I will be gone from this world, and if anyone happens upon my blog (if it still exists) they may have no idea of who I am….obviously, since it is anonymous, yet isn’t is strange to think that others can observe and read of some essence of the journey of someone’s soul through this life?

This life is a breath, a vapour, so transient. For those of us who are thinkers, we perhaps approach young adulthood thinking and trying to discover a greater sense of meaning, of purpose, and trying to find a vision for our lives, and perhaps escape some of those troublesome ‘growing up’ years and their lingering imprints upon our hearts and minds.

As we progress through life, or perhaps even for young people nowadays, our minds realise that death is not such an abstract concept. One of my dear friends passed away from this life just last week. She was 65. In my younger years, years of searching as a teenager, I had different concepts of what might happen after death, and like some thought of some kind of ‘oneness’ with the universe. That was until I had a powerful encounter with Christ and so many things changed for me eternally in reality and in my outlook and life. That being said I take comfort in knowing that my dear friend Teresa is in perfect peace with Him. I realise this is not a view of reality that some of my readers share, but still the past few years with the Coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine and a society that is increasingly unsettled and even violent in places has brought thoughts of life and death to the minds of many.

Much of what has been happening in the news and across the world has brought unsettling thoughts and worries to our minds, and while I know many people who have ‘sailed through’ and are enjoying life, some of us have more sensitive minds and have found it hard to ‘switch off’ those worries and anxieties.

There is something of a relief and a release in writing, in sharing our thoughts and getting away from the things that trouble our minds. Brains can be funny places, they can bring forth inspiration and wonder, yet they can also lead us into dark and confusing places, which is why we need to take our thoughts captive and work on choosing what and how we think, but the mind can be a battleground.

Sometimes it helps to slow down, to prop up our feet, to watch the world go by from our window and to blog a little. Life may be fleeting but it is happening now, take it in, take a deep breath and take a moment to contemplate, and take a moment just to be. ❤ x

Living in the shadowlands…

I finished writing my novel. The next step is to get a copy for myself and family and friends, I guess. I’m not sure if I will publish it, however.

And yet, a life goal almost accomplished (once I get a hard copy version), and there is a sense of life moving on far too quickly. Depending on your age and life experiences I suppose you will know something of adapting to the reality of a life that is not quite a fairy-tale.

Time seemed to move at a slower pace when we were younger. Perhaps. I’m still in my thirties but even so things have hurtled on and the ‘big’ milestones I thought I would have met haven’t quite come to pass…yet. And even if they do, we can’t hold on to them anyway. In a world where people are passing away at a younger age, young parents leaving their children behind, and the inevitability of loss, it is hard to live in the shadowlands. It is hard to know that we are living in a world that is rapidly changing, and that seems to have speeded up with its changes over just the past few years. It is hard to make other people take notice of certain things in their lives. And yet, with all the worries, perhaps I’m not taking time enough to allow myself to slow down and be thankful.

I have a hope, a very real hope in the Living God, Jesus Christ, that there is so much more than this. It may sound strange but it’s my experience and I have great Peace in Him, despite the battles of life and the spiritual battles that we are in.

Yet, even so, it takes courage to be human. To contend with our own minds, and the world we live in, and to press on. Sometimes feeling helpless and weak can lead us to the Grace we so desperately need, and finding comfort in the God Who will love us if we just would turn to Him. I found that afresh today. The God Who will reach out to me in my weakness and gather me in and comfort me with His very real and tangible Peace and Presence.

Some may look upon Christ as a crutch for the weak, yet He Is very real and the only real hope we can have in this life or the one to come. While this life is but a breath, a vapour, what is to come is eternal, and for those in Christ, an existence and a reality to be welcomed and hoped for.

Still, we have to live in the tension in the meantime of a life in the shadowlands. And that isn’t always easy. But maybe taking the time to slow down, to listen and hear what He’s saying to us, to appreciate and be thankful in the moment we are in can help us do more than worry about the uncertainties of life. There are certain bridges that we will just have to cross when we come to them. I hope you will find a place to rest today. x

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Appreciating life as it is today, not how you wish it to be…

The past few years have been quite a big learning curve for many. We may have learned some deep lessons, but being human it can be easy for us to forget what we have learned.

As humans, we often worry so much about the future or think too much about the past that we miss the day that we are in right now. The only thing that we can presently work with. We often let fear come in the way of faith.

I’d like to explore a few thoughts as they come to me.


During the pandemic, I really missed interacting with people, going for walks in the park, worshipping in church and being with other believers who know personally that Jesus Christ Is The Way, The Truth and The Life, and being nurtured and fed together in Him. I missed seeing the cherry blossom trees, and ducks and squirrels and just going with my camera out on walks and having a bit of independence.

Today I enjoyed all of these things. And I enjoyed coming home to my flat. I must admit, however, after church and spending time with some new people and a friend I know quite well, I felt a bit lonely. In the park there were couples and families walking and I found myself wondering about my own life and being on my own.

We can so often miss what is right in front of us in the here and now either by the thoughts going on in our minds that could be to do with the past, or just longing for something or someone such as companionship.

During the pandemic many of us experienced a range of emotions and thoughts, including the more pressing realisation of the shortness of time. When living in day tight compartments, and in a situation when you are faced with your own mortality, you gain perspective that any day could be the last one. Therefore, in some ways we become more present, in the present.

The now and next

We are created to hope. To hope in the future, and for believers in Christ, to hope for the reality of His coming again, and for the very real place of perfection that He Is preparing for us. Being present with Christ today means being aware of His presence and purpose in today, and of making the most of every opportunity. Yet, sometimes on an earthly level we think about the ‘what next’ of our own lives, perhaps in terms of finding that someone special, especially if we’ve waited a long time. Yet there is also the realisation that people lose their spouses or friends for a number of reasons. The only constant and comfort is Christ.

Appreciating what is, not what we wish things were.

Life is very troubled in this world at present. For those of us who are in relatively good circumstances, perhaps in those moments when we are tempted to think about what we lack, whether we are feeling lonely and want a companion, or thinking about what we think would make our lives feel better or more secure, then we should take time to be more present and grounded and grateful. The things that I missed during the pandemic, I have now.

I appreciate being able to speak to my family on the phone ❤ I appreciate my flat, my food, my health, my clothes, my friends that I can speak with in person or online. I appreciate being able to go for walks and write blog posts. I am so thankful that in this day I know that God Is working out things for my eternal good and that I can pray and intercede for others.

In a world where people are in trauma and lacking so many things and have lost loved ones, I am choosing to be thankful for all the good things that I do have right here and now.

Day tight compartments.

This life is very short. We need to learn to focus on the day tight compartment that we are living in and give all our attention and heart to it, making the most of every opportunity as it comes to us, knowing what to say no to but also knowing what to embrace. Life comes in seasons and each season will pass, so what will we do with today?

Using our gifts and encouraging others

Each day will be filled with tasks to do, duties to fulfil, but also gifts that we can use and encouragement that we can share with others. These may be hidden things that the world does not see, but that are important nonetheless. We do not know what difference it might make.


So while there is so much we cannot be in control of, we can take a few moments to be thankful for what we do have. The time will pass anyway, let us, where we can, pass it gratefully. x

Photo by George Dolgikh @ on

Some gentle advice…

It’s hard to put into words what is happening in humanity right now. It is hard to know how to react. The senseless violence that many are facing right now is overwhelming. If you are not in that situation and are affected by it all, it can be hard to know how to process and look at things.

I am writing this post with a dear friend in mind. Someone with a deep and compassionate heart who is grief stricken by what is happening.

There is no way of saying how people should be dealing with or processing things going on in the world right now, and I am seeing many people who are switching off from it and turning to look for how they can have the most fun in their lives. Others are finding different ways and means to cope with things, and there are some who are rising up to lead in relief and humanitarian efforts through acts of love and kindness big and small. I know of people who have gone into Kyiv to rescue refugees. I don’t know them personally, but through people in church who left Ukraine and who are now helping local efforts for refugees.

There is no right or wrong way to process or deal with such traumatic realities. Well, perhaps there are wrong ways when it causes harm to others, but one thing I can say is it is ok to care for yourself even if others are suffering.

It is ok to acknowledge overwhelming thoughts, emotions and the effect of seeing such human suffering and the horrors of what is happening. There are no words for this, and I am unable to spend a lot of time watching or thinking about it.

Try to be gentle with yourself, try to look at the ways you can care for and strengthen yourself and do what little you can to help in some way.

Take one day at a time, remember you are important and realise that there is a lot that we are not in control of but where we can make a change or add compassion to the world, we can try a little at a time to focus on that.

There are no easy answers. But know that caring for yourself even when others are suffering is ok. ❤ x

The Peace of Jesus

There is no doubt that the past few years have been challenging. Now the world is facing horrors and atrocities on an absolutely terrible scale most markedly in terms of what is on the collective awareness, regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine, and there are many more things going on like this in other parts of the world.

There is so much to make us feel overwhelmed, grief stricken, anxious, and desperate about.

In the midst of this I am experiencing a Peace, the Peace of Jesus Christ, and His Spirit in me, and His guiding Hand.

Most people don’t realise that there is not only a war happening in the world, but a spiritual war. Most people do not want to accept the reality of what they cannot rationalise, but this is at a great cost.

There are many born again believers in Christ, myself included who have not only had a magnificent revelation of The Lord Jesus, His Love and Light and the reality of His Presence and Person, but who have also experienced, tangibly experienced very real forces of evil and darkness. We are of sound mind. The Bible also talks of these powers, and principalities and rulers of darkness. It is to a person’s eternal detriment if they do not realise that there is a war going on for their souls and their minds.

Jesus Christ Is The Way, The Truth and The Life. People are separated from Him because of their sin, and unless they repent they also will perish. There is evil that is not of God. There Is a Peace that can hold us, and an eternal Peace in His Presence.

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus Christ has paid the price to make us right with God, to restore Peace and to indwell us by His Holy Spirit. He came in the flesh, and He will come again. And we all will have to stand before Him, and all the secrets of our hearts will be laid bare. Only those who are forgiven, cleansed by His Blood will be able to stand blameless without fault or condemnation.

We are eternal beings, we all will have an eternity and there are only two kingdoms, that of Light and that of darkness. We catch a glimpse of this now. Come to Christ and let His Peace rule in your hearts through faith in Him. You may not have a tomorrow to decide where you will spend the rest of your eternal life. Know the Peace of Jesus, call upon Him while you can. ❤ x

Look for the good in your day…

I listened to some teaching the other day regarding reframing our thoughts. No doubt, the mind is a battlefield and we often experience ‘fiery darts’ bombarding our thoughts, and for those who don’t then what a blessed rest you must have to not have to contend with unhelpful thoughts.

In times of trauma or adversity, it may be very difficult to ‘reframe’ our thoughts because of being caught up in the middle of highly stressful circumstances and being in survival mode.

Yet at other times, we are often influenced by messages we have taken in throughout our lives, from the noise of the world around us, and from a variety of other sources. Sometimes the thoughts can tend to worry, negativity, depression, fear, anxiety or just be seeming ‘pictures’ or images from past experiences, and these may be things we’d rather forget.

This can cloud or feelings, our mood and perspective of our day, and it can take time and effort to overcome. We need a healthy dose of Truth to be able to ‘gird up the loins of our mind’ and to ‘take every thought captive’. Sometimes we have to purposefully look for the good in our day, or create something good in our day to help with unhelpful thought patterns.

If you have believed a lie that keeps recurring in your mind, such as something someone said about you or told you that belittles your worth or ability as a person, then you will need to hold Truth in your mind to counter that and to be ready to change those patterns and it might take work over time. Thoughts such as you are valuable, beautiful as a human being, worthy, intelligent, kind, capable, etc, and sometimes we need a ‘bridge’ to get there, i.e. doing some ground work to cross over from those lies we were made to believe about ourselves perhaps as children, to being able to gradually accept and even embrace the truth of who we really are.

In similar fashion, we can reframe the outlook of our day. The teaching I was listening to showed a giant canvas painting or photograph of a sky, where on one side there was a brilliant orange and the sun’s light in the clouds, bright and beautiful, and at the other edge of the picture were some dark, grey and almost black ominous looking clouds. Overall the picture was beautiful and in balance, but the speaker took a little frame and held it up to different parts of the picture to contrast how our outlook sometimes focuses in on either the negative or the positive and this can change the outcome of our day.

How do we look at things? How do we choose to look at things? Most of us have experienced negative thoughts that may have stemmed from lies we’ve been told about ourselves, and we also face the fears and worries of the world we live in. We don’t need to ignore the reality but we can reframe our thinking and we can look for the good in our day.

Sometimes this can be as simple as accepting those difficult thoughts and emotions, letting them pass and then grasping onto Truth to replace them with and perhaps we may have to do this over and over again until we create new more helpful and true patterns of thinking. It might be taking a moment to be thankful intentionally for the good things we have enjoyed that day such as shelter, food, clothing, conversation, and it could be taking a few minutes to reach out to someone else, to be creative to give thanks and pray or do something that adds love and joy to the world and our lives even if it is not seen by others. We can be thankful, we can praise, we can take a moment to still our busy minds and focus on the good. Sometimes this is a challenging process, and for some people it isn’t an issue, they are so positive and carefree by nature, but for those of us who do think and feel deeply and sometimes experience these challenging thoughts and emotions especially if we’re feeling impacted by what’s happening in the world, then we can do certain things to shift our focus, to change our gaze. If we can’t help one thousand, we can help one.

So take a moment today and pay attention to what may be a stronghold in your mind, find Truth to replace those negative thoughts with and also look for the good in your day, perhaps turn your hand to something creative, something uplifting, something lovely and good and see how, even if for a few moments, your thoughts and mood shift. The day will pass either way, so look for the good in your day, and be thankful. ❤ x

There’s a lot going on in the world….

There’s been a lot going on in the world. At the start of 2020 many people, myself included, expected brand new beginnings, 2020 vision and adventures ahead. Perhaps we got some of those in our own lives, but the world as a whole got the coronavirus pandemic and a shock to the system.

This along with various political events continued throughout 2021, and as we embarked upon 2022 some were hopeful of a gradual return to ‘normality’, while now the world is facing a crisis of war, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and thousands of people’s lives have been turned upside down.

It is hard to know what to do with all the thoughts and emotions that come along with these events, how to help or for those going through them, how to survive.

I am thankful that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, that in the spiritual battle that is going on all around us that many are not even aware of, He has the Victory through His death and resurrection, and because He Is LORD. For those of you who know Him, cling fast to Him, pray and fast and intercede, and stay close, His Spirit is within you. He really Is our only hope in this world. I am so thankful for the reality of His Peace and need to remind myself to keep turning to Him.

Sometimes we need to take a break, to take time to refresh our minds and take our thoughts captive so that we can take that next step, whether in faith, in work, in prayer, in helping someone or in simply keeping going.

There are so many loving people out there, reaching out beyond themselves to help those in need. Perhaps writing blog posts is a small encouragement but if it can helps one person in their thoughts and wellbeing or even to realise that there Is in Jesus Someone Who knows and cares for you, then that is something.

Oh friends, what days we are living in! Keep looking up, keep hoping, be aware of your thoughts, and try to do the next thing that will keep you going. I pray God’s hand of blessing and protection and salvation over you all. Stay safe, take care, look at the beauty you can find in your day, and never give up. ❤ x

Do your anxious thoughts need an outlet?

Life as it happens to be

Anxiety is not uncommon, especially, at the time of writing, in a global pandemic.

Sometimes our anxious thoughts and imaginings can render us immobile and ‘incapable’ of doing something useful or productive. We might even slump into a depressive state where we want to hide and retreat.

If you are struggling with your anxious thoughts and feelings, as well as the practical steps that I have highlighted in other blog posts (simply do a ‘search’ for ‘anxiety’ on my blog and you’ll find lots of helpful articles), you might feel the need to have an outlet for your thoughts.

Talk to Someone who cares about you:

A helpful thing to do to rationalise and untangle some of our difficult thoughts could be to talk to someone who knows you and cares about you and who will listen. If you feel like you don’t have such a person in your life…

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