I love helping others feel more confident in their own bodies and discover what movements, nutrition and routines make their body feel the BEST!
However, my desire is more than creating physical habits. My desire is to share other healthy habits that will extend our influence, and a big part of that is creating habits that help guard and calm our anxious heart so we stop relying on our own strength and rely on God.
So, I do not want to miss sharing with you how to take care of one of the most important things we have… and that is our heart.
How often do you set aside time to tend to your soul? When was the last time you brewed a cup of tea or coffee, sat in stillness and opened your heart and ear to hear from our Heavenly Father?
I know life is busy, trust me I get it! As women we have plenty of roles we play and hats we wear throughout the day. I share a lot about taking care of our physical health, such as exercise tips, healthy recipes, meal planning, quality supplements…but with a busy schedule, it can be easy to forget to take care of the most important thing, the health of your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)
I love how the New American Standard Bible puts it: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Being diligent means “to show care and intentional in one’s work or duties.” How can we show intentional care for our heart? We do that by looking after it!
I believe that if we store up good things in our hearts, our words and actions will be good. And the opposite is also true. If we allow our hearts to store up things of this world then our words and actions will flow from anxiety, fear and worry.
So, how do we guard our hearts to store up more of the good things in our life so our words and actions are impactful and not destructive?
Here are four practical ways I have found that can help guard and calm your anxious heart.
1. PRAY. I think we underestimate the power of prayer and the ability it has in our lives. The Bible is so specific on what to do what we start to feel anxiety, it says in Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God, and the peace of God with transcends all understand will guard your hearts and minds in Christ.”
This verse specifically says that instead of letting out anxiety get the best of us, let’s stop whatever we are doing, bring our requests to God through prayers and petitions-
Praying allows us to come into communication with the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to control your mind. It says in Romans, the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace
It doesn’t have to be a long or eloquent prayer, it can be as simple as “Jesus, I need you.”
2. Play your favorite worship music. Music always has a way of clearing my head, healing my heart, and lifting my spirits. Music can soften our hearts and opening them up to receive beautiful rest and hear from the Holy Spirit. One of my favorite parts of church is the corporate worship. Complete surrender, hands in the air, and preparing our minds and hearts to receive the message. When we are anxious it clouds our minds to be able to receive clarity from the Holy Spirit. Anxiety=distraction. When you feel anxious- turn up the music, sing your heart out, dance to the rhythm and blast away all the anxiety.
Some of my favorites right now Hillsong United’s new album WONDER-all of it, What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship, Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin, Do it Again by Elevation Worship. They are pretty much my go-to and you will always find me loudly singing them in my car.
3. One hour before bedtime, turn off your phone’s notifications. Have you ever told yourself you are going to wind down and relax, you turn on the TV, then five minutes later you find yourself distracted by a group text or aimlessly scrolling Facebook or instagram. That is not restful, in fact social media can leave us more anxious before bed which leads to a restless sleep and even more tired in the morning.
I know this sounds impossible. Trust me, I know how easily is it to grab my phone and aimlessly start scrolling through social media and the next thing I know I am comparing and anxious!
Put your phone on airplane mode. Your alarm will still go off by you will not get any notifications throughout the night.
Commit to reading before bedtime. I always have a book on my bedside table to read myself to sleep instead of falling asleep anxious after scrolling social media.
4. Start your first waking minutes of your day reading the Word, not the world. How many of you use your iphone as an alarm clock? Guilty. Many mornings, I would start to read the notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, email before I even got out of bed. I noticed myself already anxious with one millions things to-do within the first five minutes of waking up!
When we wake up, our minds are like a sponge. It will absorb the first things we allow in and then those things, good or bad, will penetrate our minds throughout the day. Do we want peace or anxiety?
Listen to what it says in Exodus 16:21 “They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt.”
In the Old Testament, The Lord would gift the Israelites manna, bread, that He had placed upon the ground overnight. Gathering the manna was a critical part of the beginning of the day, because they had to collect it before the sun came up. Their collection would always be more than enough for their day’s requirement. Once they were out of manna, they had to wait until the next day to collect more of their daily bread.
Perhaps this ancient story and illustration depicts for us the reason why our hearts so often long for fresh word of God- fresh bread- early in the morning, before the heat of the day.
We were created and designed to need daily bread from Jesus to keep us sustained for the daily. We crave Jesus.
Just like our body craves nourishment, vitamins and minerals, from our food, our hearts need nourishment we only get from Jesus. We may try to fill out cravings with worldly desires, but that soon only leaves us anxious and unfulfilled. What our hearts truly need is truth, which only comes from Jesus.
Psalm 42:2 says, “My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
There is something about what happens once the sun comes up. Once the sun is up the pressures and events of the day start. Worries can intervene in those afternoon hours. And time is racing so fast that the stresses can be so overwhelming, causing our hearts to weaken and become anxious.
I want to encourage you to get up early enough and set time aside to dig into the Word, read the truth from the Bible– even if it’s just 10 minutes to start creating this habit!
If you don’t know where to start, here are a few places I recommend: Read through the Psalms or start in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John). Start a daily devotional (these are great because you simply follow the plan – one devotional a day!) HERE are a few of my favorites.
Have you listened to the latest episode on the “Daily Destiny with Jessie B. Podcast?”
On this episode, President & Founder of Relevant Entrepreneur, wife and new mom, Kristin Molenaar, shares what it means to serve God in business, daily habits from going from dreaming to doing, and the one piece of advice for new entrepreneurs.