We seem to be coming out of our COVID lockdown and people are venturing out and doing more traveling, shopping, etc. You would think that people would be really excited but as I am listening to the news I hear story after story of people going crazy at the McDonalds because they had to wait a little longer for service or someone at work drove them crazy and the next thing you know someone is beat up or worse. There just seems like there is a lot of pent up anxiety in our society right now. I see this with my patients as there seems to be a lot of anxiety and stress in their lives. It all reminds me of when I was in my residency in the VA hospital in West Virginia. I had a patient with a lot of anxiety and he wanted something to calm himself down. He wanted valium but he had severe lung disease and I did not feel good about using large doses of valium on him so I remembered a study done years before at San Francisco General Hospital in which they had 2 groups of patients about to undergo some very serious medical procedures. Of course stress and anxiety were sky high. One group got Xanax which is a valium like drug. To calm them the other group had a RN come and read the 23rd Psalm to them. You guessed it the one that had the 23rd Psalm read to them had less anxiety and stress and did better medically than those that took the Xanax.

So I did this with my VA patient and sure enough he felt much much better. I have been doing this over the years and I am shocked at how reading the 23 Psalm has really helped patients with stress and anxiety. They may need to read it 10-15 times a day but they report how much better they feel and it is without drugs. So in the interest of peace and calming here is the 23rd Psalm.

Psalm 23

King James Version

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.