How to Find Peace Despite Feelings of Chaos or Overwhelm

You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level. ~ Eckhart Tolle

We all know what it’s like – those feelings of overwhelm, confusion, chaos or defeat. It’s like the world is out to get you – and you’d just like to crawl in a hole somewhere. “Leave me alone!” you sigh. “Can’t I just have some peace?”

The reasons don’t matter – job, family, some life crisis, or financial issue. Perhaps it’s not enough time to do the things you ‘think’ you should do. Maybe it’s a relationship issue. Or a divorce, illness or death. Whatever it is, the ‘stuff’ tries to overwhelm your attention and drain your energy.

No matter what has you in turmoil, however, there are ways to cope, changes you can make to find your sense of peace.

Rethink. Step back mentally, and take an objective look at your situation. Is it something you can change or positively influence? So often, we stew about the stuff we can’t change. We run it over and over in our minds until it turns into a mental tornado – wiping out everything in its path. We lose sight of our blessings and joy in the midst of that mental storm. Philippians instructs us to think on things that are true, honest, pure, lovely, and of good report. In other words, stop negative thinking.

If you can’t change the situation, admit it. Take the pressure off! If it’s a ‘need’ that you’re hoping someone else will meet, grant them peace as well. For instance, I can’t make my husband do things I want him to do. They simply are not a priority in his thinking. Nagging doesn’t help; it only puts more stress on our relationship. If I want it done, I need to recognize that it’s MY issue, and just do it – whatever ‘it’ is. Pick up the socks. Clean up the clutter. Don’t sacrifice peace for insignificant issues.

Re-center. Finding and maintaining your peace is more about you than your circumstances. Have you sacrificed your quiet time, time for prayer and reflection, time in the sunshine for a too-packed schedule? Are you so busy planning and worrying about tomorrow that you’ve forgotten the goodness in your today? Take time to breathe, slow down and re-center. Ask yourself, “What matters most?”

Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are troubled about many things, but only one thing is needful.” What do you need or desire to strengthen your sense of peace and well-being? What changes do you need to make (you, not someone else!) to maintain your peace?

Reorganize. A lot of today’s pressures come from too-full schedules and too much stuff. Not enough time is a chronic complaint in our society. “I’m just so busy!” Well, who set your schedule? You did. Saying ‘yes’ when you should have said ‘no’ packs your calendar until there’s no time for relaxation, rejuvenation, or just plain fun. What can you get rid of or delegate? Ban ‘too busy’ from your life.

An accumulation of possessions requires work to maintain them. Look around. Do you have so much crammed into your house or garage that you can’t really enjoy what you have? Do your possessions give you a sense of peace, enjoyment and beauty … or are they just a constant drain on your physical and mental energy – cleaning, fixing, taking up space? God said he gives us ‘all things richly to enjoy’. He doesn’t want you burdened by the stuff; He wants you to enjoy it! Perhaps it’s time to weed out, pare down and reorganize your schedule and your space.

Relax. If you’re not taking enough time each day to relax, unwind and get a good night’s sleep, stress will take its toll, mentally and physically. Most illnesses are stress-induced. Instead of stewing about the problems, play with the dog. Take a walk outside. Read, dance, or listen to your favorite tunes. Plan a mini-vacation at least once a quarter. Have something to look forward to!

Create a place of peace and relaxation in your home. Paint the walls a calm color. Redecorate the space with a few favorite things and a candle or two. When you need a ‘time out’, you’ll have a peaceful place to go and unwind. I have my own space in a converted bedroom, and another outside on the deck. When someone is looking for me – that’s where I’ll be, tunes playing and a book close by.

Restore. Some things we always make time for – three meals a day, for instance. No matter what, we stop what we’re doing to appease our tummies! Well, your spirit and mind need refreshment also.

God designed us to fellowship with Him, through His Word (Jesus is The Word so time in the Bible is time with Jesus), prayer and meditation (thinking about His Word and how it changes your perspective). Psalm 23 says He restores your soul: your mind, will and emotions. Time with God restores joy (Ps. 51:12) health (Jer. 30:17) and loss of any kind (Joel 2:25). God proclaims throughout the Bible, ‘I will restore’. He can fix any situation that you will entrust to Him in faith!

Let’s be honest, however. It takes effort to rethink your situations and cast all your cares on God You must know – believe – that He cares for you and will work all things out for your good. In the meantime, while He extends grace, favor, blessing and peace, you can relax, reorganize and re-center yourself in faith and His Word

Peace will always win if you let it. Exodus 14:14 proclaims, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold [onto] your peace.” Notice, God does the fighting. You just hang onto your peace … and don’t ever let go!



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