A cushion is a soft bag of material used for sitting or kneeling upon or to soften the hardness or angularity of a chair or couch. It protects from force or shock.
I use the term cushioning to describe what you can strategically surround yourself with to give your heart and mind a rest and to protect yourself from being exhausted and buffeted about by circumstances.
Cushioning enables you to prosper your soul and to steady your emotions by surrounding yourself with those people and things in your world that bring comfort, calm and perspective. Those cushions will be different for everyone, but it’s learning to find your secret and safe place so that you can recharge and refuel that are what I describe as cushions, rather than allowing ourselves to become drained and depleted.
I know when I or those close to me need some cushioning because you get what I call “brittle”. You start reacting to things around you more, become strained and have far less patience than usual. Emotions become erratic, and people get anxious as life can feel like it is smashing you about. This is where placing our “cushions” that protect us from lifes force or shock are so important.
Here are some useful “cushions” I’ve discovered that help me to take a break, give my inner world rest and help me to be strengthened, so that I am living out of the overflow, rather than just scraping by:
- Go for a walk or do some form of healthy exercise. It will help you de-stress and relieve any tension.
- Surround yourself with those things that comfort you physically, such as a hot shower or bath, putting on your comfy clothes, eating food that is both healthy and nourishing and makes you instantly feel better about the world.
- Play music that brings an atmosphere of rest and peace.
- Soft lighting, candles, and essential oils all help to minister to our senses and can cushion us.
- Choose to set a sensible time to finish work for the day then watch a movie or your favourite show, read a book, or just sit back and relax.
- Be around those you love and who remind you about the brighter side of life. Go or make some plans to do something you enjoy.
- Forgo the negative relationships you may have or those who drain you and choose to spend some time being cushioned by those people in your world who encourage and edify your life.
- Hug someone or allow yourself to be hugged. Physical contact, whether we like it or not, is an important part of being healthy. A hug or encouraging hand on our shoulder to let us know people care and are there for you is scientifically proven to improve mood, health and our resilience to stressful situations.
- Spend some time with Jesus, listen to an encouraging message, and pray and give over all your cares and concerns to Him. “Cast all your cares upon Jesus because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
- Make some plans to move forward with your dreams. Write them down, pray and then trust God to direct your steps.
Be kind to yourself today and put some cushioning in place to strengthen and protect you from the shocks and strains of everyday life. Then you will be able to move forward strong, encouraged and protected.
Prayer: Lord please help me to put in place those things that will prosper my soul and protect me from being buffeted about by the things around us. Please reveal to me the cushions in my life. In Jesus name Amen