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Embracing Stillness: Reflections from a Visit with Grandma

During a recent trip to visit family, one of our stops was to see my husband’s 97-year-old grandmother. Just a month prior, she had been in the hospital, and we were determined to show her love and support during our stay.

As we spent time with her, I found myself occasionally glancing at my watch or checking my phone. Each time, she would gently ask, "Restless?" Although my initial response was a quick denial, her question lingered in my mind.

Reflecting on her observation, I realized that restlessness wasn't just about physical movement; it could also manifest in our thoughts and emotions. Was I truly present in our conversations, or was my mind wandering elsewhere? Why was I preoccupied with thoughts of work?

Understanding the deeper implications of her question, I knew I needed to make a change. I confided in my husband, who offered words of encouragement and support. Together, we brainstormed ways to cultivate stillness and presence during our visit.

One approach I found helpful was to keep myself occupied with physical tasks like cleaning or going for walks outdoors. These simple actions allowed me to channel my restless energy into productive activities while also providing moments of solitude for reflection.

Through this experience, I learned the importance of embracing stillness and being fully present in the moment. Grandma's gentle inquiry served as a gentle reminder to slow down, appreciate the present, and cherish the time spent with loved ones.

Overcoming restlessness is a personal journey. Here are three general strategies that may help:

  1. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Engaging in mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation can help calm the mind and body, reducing feelings of restlessness. These techniques encourage focusing on the present moment, which can alleviate worries about the past or future that may be contributing to restlessness.

  2. Physical Activity: Exercise and physical activity can help release pent-up energy and tension, promoting feelings of relaxation and well-being. Whether it's going for a walk or participating in a sport, finding activities that you enjoy and that get your body moving can be an effective way to combat restlessness.

  3. Addressing Underlying Causes: Sometimes restlessness can be a symptom of underlying issues such as stress, anxiety, or dissatisfaction with aspects of your life. Taking steps to identify and address these root causes can help alleviate restlessness in the long term. This may involve seeking support from a therapist or counselor, making positive changes in your lifestyle or environment, or finding healthy ways to cope with stressors.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine and being patient with yourself, you may find it easier to overcome feelings of restlessness and cultivate a greater sense of calm and contentment.

1 Peter 5:7 in the Bible states: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

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