Reducing Stimuli Featured

How to Reduce Stimuli to Hear the Voice of God

Have you been feeling overwhelmed? Maybe your circumstances feel overpowering. There could be legitimate stress in your life during this season. But maybe that overwhelmed feeling is actually coming from something else. What if you’re actually overwhelming your mind with too much stimuli? Buffy Andrews of Made Well Center for Wholeness explains why overstimulation may be the culprit. Then, let’s look at how Jesus dealt with too much stimuli and what we can learn from Him.

THE IMPACT OF TOO MUCH STIMULI

too much stimuli

Our brain's prefrontal cortex is basically a massive filtration system for your brain, weeding through stimuli as either a threat or not. But when we are overpowering our brains with too much stimulation, i.e. scrolling on your phones, constant input from devices, or constant noise, it can become difficult for your prefrontal cortex to actively sift through what is a threat or not. Often times, your brain begins overcorrecting as if everything is a threat, causing high levels of stress and anxiety.

Buffy Andrews

Does that sound like you? Too much input, not enough peace? Buffy continues with some practical steps to reduce your stimuli…

Take some time for a little stimulation inventory over the next week. See where maybe it's too much, and begin scaling back so your brain doesn't have to work so hard to sift through the stimuli. And just notice how much more peace and calm you begin to feel in your life. You can't hear the voice of God if you're only ever hearing the voices of everything else.

Buffy Andrews

THE NECESSITY OF QUIET TIME

quiet time

Your excessive stimuli may come from a crazy work day. On the other hand, maybe it’s your toddler’s incessant questions. Or if you’re like most people, it’s that constant scrolling through social media feeds that you think is relaxing. Certainly Jesus didn’t have a never ending stream of Instagram reels to fill every spare second with input. However, He still dealt with overwhelming, nonstop demands for his attention.

Yet the news about Him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Luke 5:15-16

As word about Jesus’ ministry and miracles begins to spread, His popularity rises to new heights. Imagine the pressure for a moment. Everyone wants to lay eyes on Him or get a miracle for themselves. Literally, every moment of every day, Jesus is in high demand. In His kindness, Jesus often grants their requests. Scripture speaks frequently of His compassion for those He met, plus miraculous healings, and even taking time to engage with children who wanted to see Him. But it’s also evident in Luke 5 that being surrounded by input sometimes became too much for even Jesus to handle. 

So what does He do? He withdraws to lonely places to pray. He leaves behind distractions and demands in order to prioritize His relationship with the Father. Knowing the value of escaping too much stimuli, Jesus is intentional about finding a few solitary moments away for prayer. And if Jesus, the most perfect being to ever walk the planet, needed quiet time with the Father, how much more do we need it?

RELATED: 3 Reasons Why Rest is Important for Believers

TIPS FOR REDUCING STIMULI IN FAVOR OF QUIET TIME

Now we see that reducing stimuli good for not only our mental health, but also for quiet time with our Heavenly Father. So what are some simple ways you can turn off the extra input in order to hear the voice of God? Your situation is undoubtedly unique, but maybe you can apply one of these ideas to your own life:

  • Pick a designated time everyday to cut out distractions and devote to prayer. Maybe early in the morning before the kids wake up or on your drive home from work.
  • Leave your phone in another room. Avoid that temptation to pick it up and see if you’ve missed any not-so-important notifications.
  • Ask someone to watch the kids for just an hour a week so you have a little extra time to spend with the Lord.
  • Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable. Have them call or text you occasionally to see if you’ve been getting in your quiet time.
  • Obviously we love for you to listen to Jesus-loving music. However, if you find yourself needing distraction-free prayer time on a drive, turn off your radio (gasp!) and talk to God. He may still speak through the music you hear, as He often does. But don’t be afraid to cut us off for a moment if you’re in serious need of some one-on-one time with the Lord.

What are your ideas for reducing stimuli and increasing quiet time in your life? Tell us what works for you in the comments!

NEED MORE HELP?

If you need help sifting through the stimulation, you can reach out to Madewell Center for Wholeness at MadeWellCenter.org

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2 thoughts on “How to Reduce Stimuli to Hear the Voice of God”

  1. Wonderful article. Super advice. One thing my husband and I did this year was to our 4 hummingbird feeders up. How de-stressing it is to watch them come and drink. A reminder to come to the fountain of the Lord when we are thirsty and he will give us time to drink in This peace, presence, holiness, and un-hurriedness!!

  2. Thanks so much for reminding us how important it is to take care of our mental health 🙏🙏🙏 and the quiet time we so desperately need at times to connect with our heavenly father!

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