DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or a certified counselor, I am speaking from my personal experience and beliefs. If you are struggling with severe anxiety or depression, please get in touch with your pastor, doctor, or family counselor to create a plan for help.
If you haven’t read my first post regarding anxiety, I recommend you do so. Here it is: “Anxiety: The Monster Within Me.” Before you can practically fight against anxiety, you have to know how it got those nasty claws in you. In that post, I address how anxiety works. So, please start there if you haven’t already. ♥
→Developing a Plan of Attack←
→ Acknowledge You’re Feeling Anxious.
Sometimes out of fear of anxiety growing and perpetuating, we pretend like it’s not there. Or we won’t call it for what it is. We wake up with nausea and shortness of breath, and the thought comes “Not today! What did I do wrong?” So, we focus on our breathing and try to just ignore the elephant in the room. But you can’t fight something you’re pretending isn’t there.
→ Trace Your Thoughts to Find The Trigger.
When we allow ourselves to admit that we are struggling with anxiety, we can then address whatever was triggered.
I have found that almost every time there is some form of change about to happen in my life, anxiety gets triggered. Growing up, change was always a negative thing, so as I got older anytime something big would happen my thoughts would grow negative and fearful. And if those thoughts aren’t addressed, they seep into our subconscious and affect the body. Our minds are always racing and thinking, even in moments where we’re distracted, so by neglecting to address the fearful thoughts and to distract ourselves instead, will only make anxiety seep into the back of our minds and change our physical body.
→ Confront the Fear.
Once you’ve acknowledged the anxiety, figured out the root of it, then you can confront it.
The day after my husband proposed to me, I was riddled with anxiety and fear. The change of being committed to someone for the rest of my life REALLY freaked me out since I had only seen marriages fail. So much of the joy I should have experienced was stolen because I was SO AFRAID of the unknown. But once I saw the fear for what it was, I was able to address it with my fiance (now husband) and move on. This happened when I got pregnant with my first child as well. If we don’t confront the fears that are triggering us, then anxiety will perpetuate.
How to confront fear:
Choose to be vulnerable and admit it to someone safe. Tell your spouse, your pastor, your mentor, a close friend. Vulnerability and honesty will always be key to progress.
→Practical Tips to Fight Anxiety←
- I shared the story of the two wolves in my first post on anxiety, you can read it here.
There I stated that anxiety will reign in your life, as long as you feed it. So in implementing practical tactics to help combat anxiety, you still have to be INTENTIONAL to feed yourself TRUTH. No matter how simple the tip to fight back is, you have to be intentional to TAKE YOUR THOUGHTS CAPTIVE and DEMOLISH ALL ARGUMENTS THAT COME AGAINST GOD. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
In confronting the anxious thoughts and fears, like I had mentioned up above, you have to find scripture that combats those fears. I will give you my personal scriptures that help me fight back (at the bottom of the post ↓), but this needs to be something that you research yourself as well.
And if you’re like me, and change is your largest trigger, you need to get a scripture that brings you peace for every new season of life that you enter. With every big change that has come my way, I was able to combat fear with the Bible verse I felt God gave to me. You’ll see these Bible verses become your own personal revelations when they stick out to you in your quiet time. Write those verses down. Memorize them. SCRIPTURE.IS.EVERYTHING.
10 Tips to remedy anxiety combined with the intentional meditation of scripture:
1. Develop a morning routine WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY.
- In this day and age, we are overstimulated by SO MUCH information. Fear, comparison, jealousy, sadness, is fed to our minds on nearly every social platform. My NUMBER 1 tip for overcoming anxiety, is to have a strict morning routine where you control what your mind is fed FIRST.Here is my routine:
6 am- Wake up, drink coffee, turn on worship music.
6:30 am- Read Bible. Feed my spirit what it’s longing for: God.
7 am- Journal. Write out what I’m thankful for, and what’s going on with a God perspective. Make a conscious choice on how I want the rest of the day to go.
Do you see the pattern here? I feed myself TRUTH and tell my mind that TRUTH will be what reigns and controls my emotions. NOT fear, comparison, pride, jealousy, or anything else.
- The MAIN things you want to do in your morning are remove social media and insert devotional time. This will almost ALWAYS change the way your day will go.
Be intentional to turn internal stimulation to a healthy alternative. Exercise to good, uplifting, worship music.
3. Listen to WORSHIP MUSIC all throughout the day.
Worship music is filled with God. And as we listen to it, our affections for God and His Word are stirred up within us. This is where feeding comes in again. Be intentional on what you feed yourself. I don’t turn my music off. From the moment I wake up and turn the music on, I keep it playing alllllllllll day long.
I also do this while I exercise too. I listen to fast paced Christian music like Hillsong Young & Free and Lecrae. So even while I’m running on the treadmill, I intentionally feed my spirit.
Get outside and sit in the sun. Intentionally meditate on your verses. Remind yourself of Gods protection and promises. Pray them over yourself.
5. Practice Breathing Techniques.
Make a conscious effort to slow down your breathing. Be intentional in your breathing.
Focus on Psalm 46:10, be still, breathe.
6. Thankful Journal.
Pull out your thankful journal, and intentionally name 10 things you’re thankful for.
7. Meet up with a friend and talk ABOUT THEM.
Ask the person questions about themselves. Be INTENTIONAL to love and serve them over yourself. This will get your mind off selfish things and will feed love.
[This is an amazing book regarding the selflessness. Dramatically changed my life too: The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller]
8. Lavender Oils and Candles.
The smell really does help calm you down.
9. Practice Self Grounding with Scripture Meditation.
Grounding is where you focus on your natural surroundings to get your thoughts off fears of the past or future.
Read this post for thorough information on grounding: http://livewellwithsharonmartin.com/reduce-anxiety-grounding/
When I’m mentoring and counseling women through severe anxiety and depression (these are the only two mental disorders I talk about because I have personally dealt with them) the best way I can describe their emotional state is by the metaphor of a boat. This was the analogy that was given to me, by a dear friend, that helped me work through my own struggles with anxiety and depression.
The average woman dealing with life will often get stressed or overwhelmed, but she can still manage to stay afloat and not drown with panic.
The woman with anxiety or depression feels like this:
The woman is the captain and the boat is her body. Anxiety or depression (or both) have punctured the sides, she begins to sink. Just to stay afloat the captain has to use most of her energy to think creatively on how to clog the hole and to toss the water out. She has no energy for anything else, or she will utterly drown. The boat will sink and everything will die.
This is how a woman with anxiety or depression feels. Just to stay on a “normal” emotional level, not even happy yet, she has to use alllllllll her energy to get there. She has barely any, if at all, energy for her children, spouse, friendships, life’s obligations, or life’s stresses. So, when something is thrown she breaks easily. What would feel like a normal daily task for someone else, like getting dressed or getting out of the house, feels like a daunting task to the woman who deals with anxiety or depression. She can sleep a ton, but still feel exhausted, because anxiety or depression have punctured her energy.
In this case, supplements and medication are very helpful. They plug the hole, so she can manage the rest of life’s obligations.
So, here is my personal *opinion: supplements and medication are a tool that helps us get afloat. If something is used, I recommend having a time frame for how long you plan to be on them. I don’t think they should be the main solution to give you help. But sometimes they are necessary just so we enough energy to get other help. Plan on going to a counselor, educating yourself with books, exercising, reading the Bible, or starting a thankful journal to accompany the medication. You want to give yourself OTHER tools, so you can have a plan of action on getting off any form of medicine.
And as always, remember, this is a process.
Since anxiety has SO MUCH to do with your thought life, it will take a period of time to be able to acknowledge what you’re thinking and confront untrue thoughts. Be gracious with yourself and commit to the process of taking every.thought.captive.
It needs to be a moment by moment, day by day, week by week choice to continue to move forward.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
He is good and will do it.
Please consider sharing this post. There are many who struggle with anxiety and I know this will help and change many lives. ♥
15 Scriptures to Fight Anxiety:
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”
2 Corinthians 10:5
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”
“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
“From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I”
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”