Finding Peace in Difficult Times

Authors: Ted Asay, Mark Ogletree

Excerpt From Finding Peace in Difficult times

If you can sit quietly after difficult news, if in financial downturns

you remain perfectly calm, if you can see your neighbors

travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy, if you can

happily eat whatever’s put on your plate and fall asleep after a day

of running around without a drink or a pill, if you can always

find contentment just where you are, you are probably a dog.

For most of us who are human, the path to peace does not come

quite as easily. We have little control over the tragedies and disasters

that happen in the world, and sometimes little control over the events

and challenges we face in life. However, we do have control over the

way we perceive and respond to what happens around us and to us.

We also determine how we respond to ourselves and interact with others,

and we have great influence over the kind of relationship we have

with God and the role he plays in our lives.

We present several strategies that have been shown,

either through scientific research or revealed truths, to increase our

capacity to experience peace and well-being. These include learning

to live more fully in the present, looking to the future with optimism

and hope, and overcoming the effects of our past injuries, disappointments,

and regrets. We also offer suggestions for cultivating the quality

of self-compassion, taming perfectionism, using humor, managing

stress and anxiety, and developing relationships that are healthy and

healing. Finally, we focus on the importance of establishing a peaceful

lifestyle, acquiring Christlike attributes, and relying on Jesus Christ,

the “Prince of Peace.”

These “small and simple” practices are the key to experiencing

greater peace and enjoyment. We also understand that it is not practical,

or helpful, to try to integrate all of these strategies into your life at

the same time. We suggest that you decide which strategy you would

like to try first and then gradually implement it in a way that works

for you. Others can be added when you are ready. Additionally, we

recognize that the practices we are suggesting are not a replacement

for professional treatment. If the difficulties you are experiencing interfere

with your daily functioning or cause you significant distress,

we recommend that you consult with a mental health professional.