Anxiety. Just the word stirs up uncomfortable feelings and emotions. I know that when someone mentions the word anxiety my mind goes to certain times in my life that were anxiety provoking for me. In conversations with others on the topic, I say to myself as they are talking about their troubles, "I can relate to that."
We all have suffered from it from time to time in our lives. Some more than others, but never the less, we all have experienced the feeling of anxiety. The flush feeling coming over our face, the panic stricken sensation all around us, and the feeling in your gut that everything is going to go wrong in this particular situation.
I have gone for periods of time where anxiety was as common to me as breathing. The feelings of despair and wondering where God could have gone overwhelmed me to the point of great fear. It is the epitome of hopelessness...
But there truly is hope. Hope that God has His hand on me and He cares more for me than I could ever imagine. God doesn't want us to be burdened with anxieties and held down. He longs for an intimate relationship with us and seeks to comfort those who call on His name.
Psa 55:22 Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Here are some thoughts on ways I have learned to overcome anxiety:
- Pray. God wants us to cast our burdens on Him. This means to dismiss or reject as useless or inconvenient. The anxieties we experience are useless to us and only cause grief.
- Share how you are feeling with someone you trust. Sharing our struggles with others gives us a chance to help one another. Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (NASB)
- Re-evaluate the situation. Have you ever heard some say, "Just change your perspective?" Great advice. Many times the problem we are anxious about is merely an issue of how we perceive a particular problem. Learn skills that help to change how we see our problems.
- Take a break from your problem and walk away for a few minutes. Go for a walk, workout, read a book. Find something that will allow you to get away from your struggle for awhile.
- Stop obsessing and think positive. Relate your problem to the big picture. Is this something that I need to worry about right now? Most things we struggle with don't even come to pass so our anxiety isn't worth the destruction it is causing in our life.
- Work through it one step at a time. Some of our problems are real problems and the best way to face them is head on one step at a time. When I have a stress producing event I try to break it down to simple steps I can achieve.
Pro 12:25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. (NASB)
Lord, thank you for caring about me. Please help be to learn ways to cast my anxieties onto you. I want to live for you and know that stress and anxiety can get in the way of that.