My family used to have a wire fox terrier that was terrorized by thunderstorms. Sweet Pea (yes, that really was her name) was trained to stay in the kitchen unless someone invited her into other rooms in the house. But with the first clap of thunder, her training would fly out the window. Racing through the house, she would look for the closest lap to shelter in. On more than one occasion, a storm sent our poor dog into a seizure. We might have helped Sweet Pea by fitting her with a Thundershirt, had it been available back then. This is a garment that wraps around dogs like a coat, applying gentle, constant pressure, which works to calm them down. It is also called an Anxiety Wrap.
Strange as it may sound, this technique also works for some children with autism who wear weighted vests for a few minutes each day to calm their overstimulated nervous systems. No doubt the same principle is at work with infants who are swaddled. The pressure makes them feel more secure.
While most of us don’t need weighted vests, we could all do with our own version of an Anxiety Wrap. Here is the one I’ve developed: whenever I become anxious or fearful, I talk about my concerns with close friends, enlist their prayers, pray, and read Scripture. I also consciously remember how God has helped me in the past, and I thank him for his faithfulness. The more I focus on God and on doing his will, the more peaceful I become. As God wraps me in his grace, I am able to calm down in his presence.