Worry is like a plague to our body. It attacks our mind, then our heart, and over time, it can consume our overall health. Continuous worry leads to a state of anxiety, where you rarely have periods of the day when you aren’t worried.
Wouldn’t it be great to never worry again?
I’m not sure this is humanly possible – although Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.” How good are you at obeying that verse?
I can’t imagine either why Jesus would give a command He wouldn’t fully allow us to obey. But He commanded a lot of other things I’m not perfect at either.
So, I’m still much a work in progress when it comes to eliminated worry and anxiety from my life.
I know this, however, part of maturing as believers should mean we begin to worry less.
Let me share a few things I’ve learned, which may help.
Here are 5 actions to combat worry and anxiety:
It’s a trade-off. You can pray or you can worry, but you can never really do both at the same time. Which would you rather do?
Seems to be a reasonable trade. How amazing is it the Creator of sunsets wants to have a conversation with me? Worry seems to be a cheap substitute in this regard.
Do wise things.
As a believer, sin is always going to cause my inner conscience to feel guilty – which usually translates quickly into other emotions, such as doubt, worry and eventually anxiety. When I know I’m doing the best I can to be obedient to God’s commands the relationship with Him is stronger and my heart is freed of needless worry.
But this also involves taking care of ourselves physically, socially and emotionally. It means we need to eat right, exercise, and limit exposure to negative influences – which might include people who are constantly negative. Our environment helps determine our attitude. If the actions we are taking are leading to more anxiety then it makes sense that we need to change our actions. Sometimes the best thing I can do when I start to worry is go for a walk, pray, and clear my mind.
By the way, one wise thing may be asking for help when you need it.
Fill our minds carefully.
Of course, I’d recommend reading the Bible. I think followers of Christ should read it everyday. It’s where we find the hope, faith and trust spelled out for us by God Himself. But there are others things, which bring encouragement. It could be a good novel or something humorous.
For some people this may mean turning off the news and shutting down social media. It’s not that television or social media is necessarily bad, but I just don’t seem to find much which really encourages me these days.
The point is when we fill our minds with good things it crowds out some of the bad things.
Choose our thoughts strategically.
The Apostle Paul said to think about these things – “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.” (Philippians 4:8) It isn’t even enough what we fill our minds with if we don’t carefully place our thoughts in the right directions.
I always ask myself: Why worry about what I can’t control? And why worry about what might happen when I can choose to think about good things which are happening? Lots of good things occur everyday – when I choose to think about them.
This is the key to worrying less and ultimately having less anxiety. The more I trust the less I worry. This is true in so many scenarios. It could be flying in a car, riding in a car with someone, or taking a doctor’s advice. The more I trust the less I worry.
As a believer, I can step up my faith, because I know God is on His throne. He has a plan and He will do what is best. Every time! And the key to trusting Him more is simple. I have to spend more time with Him And get to know Him better. Like any healthy relationship it grows stronger with time and effort. The more you know God the more you will love and trust Him.
This is not a script or a recipe to rid your life of worry or anxiety. I think it will help. But there are times we all need professional help. Don’t be afraid to seek it when you do. In my experience, these five things help me combat much of my worries if I will practice them daily.