Your spirit as well as your body needs care and attention.
With the sound of New Year’s noise makers fading, it’s a natural time of year to make changes that can lead to a healthier, happier life.
Many of us resolve to improve our physical health by eating right and exercising. However, we often forget that the worldly concerns and trials also weigh us down and drain us of energy. So while committing to changes that impact our physical well-being, let’s look at what can have a similar impact on our spiritual lives.
Here are seven ways you can live lighter in the New Year:
1. Develop a thankful heart.
Finish each day by remembering at least one thing that you are thankful for. Gratitude nourishes the soul with an important reminder of our blessings.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
2. Keep a prayer journal.
Track your prayer requests regularly. Over time, it can be a blessing to read over previous needs that have become answered prayers.
3. Admit your problems and troubles to God and your trusted friends.
Denying that a problem exists negates the need for a solution to that problem. Be courageous and identify what is upsetting you so that it can be addressed and resolved.
4. Forgive those who have wronged you.
Forgiveness releases the grip of anger and bitterness and yields a peace that will enable you to focus on the positive in life.
5. Stay connected to others.
Problems can seem bigger when you’re isolated. Psychological studies have shown that the support of and close relationships with friends and family foster greater resilience.
6. Rely on God’s word and trust His promises.
The Bible offers abundant accounts of God’s faithfulness and provides us a valuable source of strength. Remember and repeat the words of Isaiah: “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”
7. Help someone, no matter how big or small the effort.
We hear it over and over again: Our problems become smaller when we reach out and help another so allow yourself to be God’s hands, God’s feet, God’s eyes, God’s ears.
This year resolve to look above and beyond life’s challenges. Focus on God rather than on your troubles. As a result, your spirit will be lighter, making it a truly Happy New Year!