Reflect on your environment to gain peace of mind

By Jenna Ebener

I am someone whose mind is constantly whirring. I am always processing something or thinking ahead to what’s next. It can be difficult for me to slow my mind down, especially at night. Oftentimes, I wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning with my mind bu­zz­ing. How­ever, I have discovered a way to have something other than incessant thoughts take over my mind: music.

I listen to music almost every day; Christian music is my preference. Once I made listening to music a daily occurrence, something interesting started to happen. Now most nights or mornings I wake up not to incessant thoughts but to a song in my head. If I listened to even one or two Christian songs that day that is the music I typically hear. Sometimes the song that comes to mind is one of my favorites. Most nights, a song that played in the background comes to mind.

I love taking comfort in the words as I fall back asleep. If I did not listen to Christian music that day, then usually another song or jingle is what I wake up to in my head. Those songs are not nearly as peace inducing, which makes it harder to fall back asleep.

This experience has shown me the importance of being mindful of what makes up my environment. Even if we do not realize it at the time, our subconscious minds are picking up countless details throughout the day. Our moods, attitudes towards others and perceptions are shaped by numerous experiences each day. It can be so easy to get stuck in a rut without realizing it. We might find ourselves getting overwhelmed by feelings such as anxiety, fear, anger, impatience or monotony.

If you feel like you are in a pattern you cannot get out of, I encourage you to reflect on your environment. What kind of people do you spend time with? Do you leave feeling full of God’s presence? What sounds do you hear in the background? What do you watch on television? Do these things enhance your view on how you want to live your life and encourage your faith in humanity? What do you see when you look around? Are you able to see signs of God’s love and creation?

We may not be able to control where we live, whom we live with, or where we work. Those are big details, but think of the countless details surrounding each big scenario! We control how we take what life throws at us. Do we play music that bring us joy? Do we take the time to connect with someone who sets our hearts afire? Do we take the time for ourselves and feel God’s presence? Do we seek God in challenging situations and difficult people? Is our success each day based on how much we got done or how often we sought and felt God’s presence?

It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the material things of life. Let us find those little moments each day that remind us God is always present — that is what truly matters. Let us find those things that fill our subconscious with faith, hope and love. “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).

(Jenna Ebener, who has a Master of Social Work from St. Ambrose University in Dav­enport, is a social worker at a school in Colorado for students with medical needs.)


Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebooktwittermail
Posted on

1 thought on “Reflect on your environment to gain peace of mind

  1. Dear Jenna,

    Thank you so much for your reflection and suggestion. You make a very insightful point!
    Many blessings to you,

    Maria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *