These tips come from a spiritual master who taught his students how to be less anxious.
It is easy to be anxious about many things. As humans, we have an innate desire to control everything and when things happen that we can’t control, we lose our peace and our hearts become increasingly anxious.
Jesus said to his stressed out apostles, “Peace be with you” (John 20:21). God always brings peace into our souls when we let him enter our lives. It is a basic recognition of his control over world events and is an act of surrender.
St. Francis de Sales, a spiritual master from the 16th century, gave a few tips on how to remain calm and peaceful in his Introduction to the Devout Life.
Anxiety arises from an unregulated desire to be delivered from any pressing evil, or to obtain some hoped-for good … Birds that are captured in nets and snares become inextricably entangled therein, because they flutter and struggle so much. Therefore, whensoever you urgently desire to be delivered from any evil, or to attain some good thing, strive above all else to keep a calm, restful spirit, — steady your judgment and will.
Above all, we need to come to terms that we God is the one guiding history and that we must place all our cares and anxiety in his hands.
Quietly bring [your soul] back to the Presence of God, once more placing all your hopes and affections under the direction of His Holy Will … When you are conscious that you are growing anxious, commend yourself to God.
St. Francis de Sales also suggests relating your anxiety to a trusted friend or even your confessor. Often that simple action will calm our nerves.
If you can lay your anxiety before your spiritual guide, or at least before some trusty and devout friend, you may be sure that you will find great solace … It is the best of remedies, and therefore it was that Saint Louis counselled his son, “If thou hast any uneasiness lying heavy on thy heart, tell it forthwith to thy confessor, or to some other pious person, and the comfort he will give will enable thee to bear it easily.”
Remember, God is by your side and wants to calm your soul and bring his peace into your heart.