Posted on Friday, Nov 06, 2020 by Air1 Pastors

Rise Into Fall

We have experienced some rather unexpected detours in 2020. From Covid, fires, civil unrest, hurricanes, and floods. It is no doubt some of you may feel your direction in life has massively shifted. 

Earlier this year, I had expected to attend my best friend’s wedding in Italy and had also planned a separate vacation to the United Kingdom. This was going to be an exciting year of travel for me. However, with the events of this past year, there was no vacation and the wedding was canceled. 

The world started feeling smaller and darker, I became frustrated by having to be locked inside, instead of traveling the world. I realized after about four months in lockdown, I needed to change my mindset and fill my heart with joy and love again to get myself through the remainder of the year. 

Here are three ways that helped me shift my mind and make my heart happy and healthy again, that I wanted to share with you going into Fall. 

1. Spiritually Relieve Your Stress. 

Prayer, meditation, journaling, and mindfulness. Together, those techniques can help you focus and find peace of mind. After much reading and meditation, I put together 7 ways to help cultivate my spirituality and began applying them to my daily routine. Since then, my stress level has begun to diminish. 

7 Ways To Manage Stress: Keep A journal Seek a Mentor Create A Quiet Space Give Up Control Increase Meaning Maintain A Purpose Gain Perspective
  1. Keep a journal to record your progress and express your feelings in a safe place.
  2. Seek out a trusted advice-giver. Whether this person is a spouse, friend, or family member, they can help you discover what is important in your life right now.
  3. Create a sense of quiet or peace within your living space. This would be someplace you can get away from all the "noise" 2020 has caused.
  4. Give up control. We tend to want to control our lives. Right now, life is too unpredictable to control.
  5. Increase meaning. If you feel you are sinking, switch your mentality, and find ways to lift yourself back up. Find ways to grow and make your current situation or mental state greater and brighter than it was yesterday.
  6. Maintain a sense of purpose. Ask yourself these questions: What gives you purpose? What drives your future forward? What motivation shapes those things you value? Start defining your code of behavior and who you want to be going into 2021.
  7. Lastly, Gain perspective. Sometimes we get so consumed in ourselves and our own lives, we forget to stop and smell the roses as they say. Many. People have lost their homes, tent cities are popping up everywhere, change is almost impossible to get back from a grocery store, masked faces have become a new way to express who we are. We have become grouped into one category; we forget about other individuals. So, take just one minute each day to go outside, take a deep breath, and look around. See how others are doing during this time. Maybe you’re brave enough to do something about it, by making someone else’s day better and brighter.

“Research has shown that people who use positive religious coping displayed greater optimism, less anxiety, and higher levels of positive emotions.” -Amy L. Ai, University of Washington

Practicing those 7 small changes each day can hopefully reduce your stress level moving forward, I know it has for me. 

2. Have A Generous Spirit.

In Proverbs 11:24-25, it says “one gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” 

“one gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” - Proverbs 11:24-25

Generosity isn't just giving money or gifts. Its withholding judgment toward others, it's forgiveness and not condemning others, it's about loving not just yourself, but being selfless toward others.

3. Happiness, It Can Be Learned.

If you google "how to be happy," you'll likely come across three ways over and over, that are "proven" to make you feel happier: eating healthy, exercising regularly, and having a strong nurturing network of people around. Yes, these three common things attribute to happiness, but I eat healthy and exercise regularly, and have been blessed with a nurturing family and friends, and yet I still have my days, weeks, and especially this past year, even months that I wasn't that all happy.

Realizing small changes could make me spiritually happier, I developed a daily routine encompassing these 4 steps:

  1. Start your day in conversation with God.
  2. Treat yourself well. It’s perfectly ok some days to do absolutely nothing.
  3. Venture outside your comfort zone. This one can be tricky, especially right now, but start small. Such as drawing, painting, or even reconnecting with an old friend. Just try something different, and who knows, you may end up finding something you truly enjoy.
  4. Forgive. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and most of all, forgive Him.
4 Ways To Elevate Your Spiritual Happiness Begin Everyday with God. Treat Yourself Well. Break Your Walls Down. Forgive.

Remember, we are all going through something this year, and it is ok to not be ok. Start accepting the good over the bad. Imagine the best and start listening to your heart. In time, you will feel it becoming healthier and full of happiness. We are all in this together. 


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