Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Think on these things . . .

This is part two of last week’s post, so if you missed, “When you feel anxious,” find it HERE.

Today—four more tips to help us with anxious feelings. As I wrote last week, I am not a therapist, but these are some of the things I found helpful when I dealt with this challenge.

1.       Diet and exercise. First, and I’m sure this is obvious—watch the caffeine. If we’re already feeling jittery, pumping ourselves with coffee is not a good idea. This would be the season to back off anything with high amounts of coffee and sugar which can put us in a crash mode.

Also, regular exercise is great for working off excess energy and we can get those endorphins going. 

2.      Avoid sentences that begin with “What if . . . “This is the express train ticket to accelerate anxiety because we’re borrowing all that imagined trouble from tomorrow. This quote attributed to Winston Churchill is helpful, “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” We have enough trouble without suffering the things that never happen. Sometimes, we don’t even know we’re doing the “what if” thing until we stop and pay attention to what we’re thinking. Notice the times you think or say, ‘what if’ and try the next tip instead.

3.      “Think on these things . . . “One of my favorite verses in the Bible is, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). When I was trying to stop the “what if” thinking, sometimes I would break this verse down and began listing either in my mind or on paper what is true, then move on to noble, right, etc. Meditating on scripture and putting it into action is powerful and helps us refocus our thoughts and attention.

4.       Prayer Spending time with the Lord in prayer is life-giving. The old Gospel song said, “I must tell Jesus all of my troubles, I cannot bear my burden alone.” None of us can bear our burdens alone. Pouring out our hearts to the Lord is such a privilege. As we do, we’ll find we want to spend more time listening to what He might say to us as we sit before him, and as we read His word.

If you are suffering from anxiety, you are not alone. Many are going through the same thing, but God has a way for you. Seek the Lord. Find a therapist who can journey with you. I pray you would find the healing you so earnestly seek, friends. Blessings.

Over on my Etsy store BeverlyVarnadoArt, you'll find a little book called Gifts of Hope. It's a forty-seven day devotional that I originally wrote for Lent during the time I dealt with PTSD. Perhaps, you will find it helpful. 


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