“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)
Those verses are easy to quote but difficult to live. Where you struggle with anxiety the most reveals where you trust God the least. Trusting God is an obvious answer to dealing with anxiety, but here are five other practical tips that can help you with your anxious tendencies:
1) Prayer. Though all other ways on coping with anxiety can alleviate the pain, prayer is the only remedy for anxiety that can remove the pain. God may not remove the anxious circumstance you are facing, but as the above verse promises (not suggests), he will give you a “peace that transcends all understanding” that will help you get through it.
2) Bank on the promises of God. Immersing yourself in your Bible and dwelling on the many promises that God has for his children will help you. Some that come to mind for me are Romans 8:28, Psalm 32:8, and Jeremiah 29:11.
3) Behold Jesus. When I think of all the things I need to do, anxiety fills my heart. When I behold Jesus and stare in awe of all he’s done for me, joy fills my heart. Spend more time dwelling on what Jesus has already accomplished and less time in frantic stress rushing to all the things you need to accomplish. To borrow from Mark Driscoll, “Worship God before you work so that you can worship God in your work.”
4) Tell others. If you are struggling with anxiety, tell other Christians that you love and trust. Leave your pride at the door. Amazingly, after simply confessing that we are struggling with something — whether it be anxiety or another sin — we suddenly feel, well, better! Healing comes only after confessing (See James 5:16).
5) Do what you love to do. A sure way to invite anxiety in your life is to stop doing what you love to do most. What is it for you? Lifting weights? Reading books? Time with family and friends? Don’t stop doing what you love doing the most.
“Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
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