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  • Writer's pictureLaura Greer

Hot Mess Hope: 4 Practices You Can Do Now for Peace and Calm in the Chaos

Updated: Jul 3

woman sitting on floor meditating calm and peace in a hot mess chaos kitchen with laundry

Have you ever gotten news that completely threw you for a loop?

I sure have. Unexpected bills. Unexpected diagnoses. Unexpected car or home repairs. The list could certainly go on.

Life can be a hot mess; but girlfriend, there is hope!

The common thread here is at the unexpected can derail us, but only if we allow it to do so. We like to be in control, but unexpected circumstances are outside of our ability to control. Things happen. Sometimes beautiful things, sometimes crappy things. While we cannot control what happens around us, what we can control is how we respond.

In a world where we all too often react to a situation instead of responding, it's understandable that this might seem a foreign concept, but we can find hope for the hot mess when we practice for peace and calm in the midst of the chaos.

Let's dig a Little deeper.

Why do we react?

It's called a gut reaction for a reason. Reactions are controlled by our emotions, and in this world of overscheduling and busyness, it's easy to give in to those emotions. Plus, we now know that our gut produces hormones which affect our emotions, and if our gut is not healthy, we have less of the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.

I am a huge believer in the mind-body connection. While I am not a healthcare practitioner, I have gone from a very unhealthy gut to an intentionally nourished gut, and can attest to the changes that can happen from taking care of the gut microbiome. More on that next week, but for now let's address what we can do in the moment.

4 Practices for Peace and Calm in the Chaos:

1. Pause.

When emotions begin to take over, we can slow down and breathe deeply to calm our nervous system. This will allow us to view the situation more objectively. While we are unable to control certain situations, what we are able to control is how we respond. This is much easier when we've been able to calm our nervous system through deep breathing. If your time allows for more, go for a short walk to clear your mind, or take a calming bath with some lavender Epsom salts. If time won't allow for that and you're not sensitive or allergic to scents, aromatherapy with lavender or bergamot essential oils can help calm your nervous system. Here's a box breathing technique you can use right now:

2. Consider.

A woman journaling with a plant and coffee

Once we've calmed down that racing heartbeat, we can consider the why behind the reaction. Maybe there was an experience you had in the past that caused you to instinctively react in the way you did. Or maybe there was no experience at all, and because you had no frame of reference for the situation, anxiety and fear took over. Take some time and journal your thoughts, and as you do so, look at those thoughts more objectively. Just because something has been "that way" in the past doesn't mean that's true for who you are and what you're facing now.

3. Release.

Open hands releasing sand

This one is so freeing, and embodying this practice can make such a difference in our mental health. Expectations should be held loosely, if at all. I've often found when I expect certain results, my expectations are biased because of my experiences. If we're not careful, this can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only thing we can really control in this life is ourselves and how we respond to situations. When we hold too tightly to expectations, we are often blind to solutions that could be right in front of us. When we release those expectations, we allow hope and possibility to enter the equation.

4. Pray.

Praying hands open to sunshine

God is faithful to hear our prayers. Matthew 7:7-8 reminds us, "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." When we read this scripture through the lens of loosely held expectations, we can see that sometimes the answers to those prayers may come in a form we weren't expecting, or didn't even know was possible. In other words, what we ask for with our words may inadequately describe our heart's desire. By letting go of those expectations, we become more open-minded to out-of-the-box possibilities in answer to our prayers. This invites hope into the equation, because we are no longer chained to one expected outcome.

Come back next week as we discuss how to nourish your gut for long term mental and physical health benefits!

It's Your Turn!

Breathe deeply. As you continue to slowly breathe in and out, reflect on what expectations you'd like to hold more loosely or release so hope can arise. Share your reflections in the comments so we can support and encourage you to find peace, calm and hope, even in the midst of the chaos.

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