Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2016 15 Aug

a man with steam coming out of his ears

I am a self-confessed news junkie. Last month, however, I hardly tuned in to television news, preferring to get my fix through print media instead. As news reports kept pouring in, I surprised myself by remaining calm. Then I made the mistake of turning on the television, with very different results. Though the news was identical to what I had previously read, my response was notably different. As I watched commentators speculating on every possible scenario, I could almost see my anxiety rising like the red line on a thermometer. The takeaway was clear: watching televised news tends to trigger my anxiety. If I want to remain peaceful, I need to find a way to limit my exposure.

What are your triggers—the things that ramp up your anxiety, making it difficult for you to remain peaceful? Maybe it’s talking to friends who have a tendency to look at negatives more than positives. Perhaps it’s pressuring yourself to be perfect or comparing yourself to others or checking the stock market too often or packing too many things into a day or making a habit of asking, “What if, what if, what if?” We all have triggers that rob us of the peace we desire, draining our energy and making it difficult to live positive, productive lives. Avoiding these makes practical sense.

In the next few days, ask God to help you identify the unconscious triggers that threaten your peace. Then seek him for the wisdom to know how to handle them.