Maybe your anxiety comes from worry and you lie awake at night running the what ifs over and over again in your mind. Or perhaps your anxiety is so deeply rooted from your past. And you jump from one thing to the next and a constant reaction to the people and the things around you. Well, whatever your anxiety is, in the form of reactions to stressful situations, unsettled feelings, or racing thoughts, the fact is, you don’t want it. And that’s why in today’s podcast, we are talking about how to calm your anxious mind.
Anxiety is often a result of how we respond inwardly to our outward circumstances. And in our instant gratification world, we often look for quick fixes that will replace fear with peace, alcohol, drugs, people pleasing shopping, food, these are just to name a few of the unproductive fixes that we resort to, to calm or anxious minds. And the problem with these fixes is that they really rely on the creation rather than the Creator. It builds a dependency on the things of this world instead of our source of hope, being in God. It’s in something, I guess what some people would say is more tangible. Like Jesus came so that we could have life and have it in abundance. And that doesn’t include a mind that is riddled with anxiety. And we often pray for God to take away our anxious thoughts. And while yes, I believe all things are possible with God instead, God rarely does for us what he has instructed us to do for ourselves.
Now, please don’t confuse that with God helps those who help themselves. That’s not Biblical. But we do have a responsibility. And when I was in the fitness business, I used to have clients come in for training sessions, and I would show them a particular exercise and how to do it. And they would say, oh, when are you going to invent a way for you to be able to do the work and I get the results? Haha. They were joking, of course. But I believe there’s a lot of truth in joking. And these were the same clients that would grumble and complain and they would come in late for their sessions. The fact is, they didn’t want to do the work.
And just like I can’t exercise for you, God isn’t going to override your choices. And think for you, we have to do the work ourselves. I can’t control whether anxiety comes on me, but I can control what I do with it. Anxiety can be a physical response to a thought and action or a feeling. And it is most frequently triggered by worry.
So let’s talk today about some steps that we can take to calm our anxious mind.
#1 Recognize that it’s an attack of the enemy. Look, worry is a sin. But it’s one of the more socially acceptable sins, I guess you could say. In some circles, people actually believe that worry means love. You see, the more I worry about you the more it means that I love you. This is not Biblical, my friend. Worry is a sin. And Scripture tells us in Matthew 6:27, “Can any of any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
A friend you’re worrying isn’t changing anything for the positive at least at the very least it is wasting your time and energy but worse, it’s a temptation sent to you by the devil to distract, derail and destroy your life. And he knows that if he can get you in, caught in that anxious thought pattern, then one you’re going to let him into you’re not going to trust God’s plan.
So what’s the solution?
Well, James 1:7 tells us that we are to “submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee. Anxiety doesn’t have to be a part of you. I hear so many people so often refer to anxiety like it’s a pet or an appendage. My friend. If you don’t want anxiety, please stop owning it.
#2 Recognize. I want you to recognize that you’re still in control. I used to get a racing heart and a queasy stomach anytime I would anticipate something bad that was going to happen, especially one that I couldn’t control. And other times I just wasn’t worried about anything. Nothing outside triggered the response in my body. I just felt anxious. And in those moments, I would remind myself that this is just a feeling and it too will pass. Now I took some long deep breaths and I was careful not to react. In my anxiety. We have more control over what we do with our emotions than we give ourselves credit for.
II Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.” A sound mind also means a disciplined mind. That means my feelings don’t rule me, I rule them.
So what’s the solution? Apply self control.
Proverbs 25: 28 tells us that a man without self control is like a city broken into and left without walls. You don’t have to give in to your feelings. Now, I’m not saying just ignore them. Some anxiety is an outward display of an inward issue. And if that’s the case, my friend, I want to encourage you to get the help that you need. But don’t let it rule you.
#3 Recognize that you’re lacking in faith. It is not possible to be anxious and faith-filled at the same time. That’s why Scripture tells us to be anxious for nothing. Even the emotion of anger doesn’t get that command. Since it feels near impossible to just stop being anxious. However, we must find the antidote. And the antidote to anxiety is faith.
Now I can hear you now saying, “Okay, what do you mean, Kris, I have faith.” And we treat anxiety more like a disease that we’ve acquired, like diabetes or the flu. But the truth is, if you have anxiety over not being able to pay your bills, you don’t have faith that God will provide. If you have anxiety over your children, you don’t have faith that God will protect them. If you have anxiety over any of your circumstances, big or small, your faith in God is lacking.
The cure for anxiety is to grow in faith. In its simplest form, anxiety boils down to what your mind is focused on. And I realize this sounds overly simplistic, but I’ve been there. And I’ve had to grow in my discipline to focus on the goodness of God, instead of my circumstances. I had to learn how to shut my mouth when something anxious wanted to come out. I’ve had to train myself to not give in to the feelings when they came rushing over me. My friend, it is possible that you are a faithful believer that struggles with anxiety.
But the solution, Mark 9:24 I believe, but “help me overcome my unbelief.” While the Lord isn’t just going to take over our minds, he has provided a scriptural solution, and that is to have a disciplined mind that focuses on Jesus. So my friend, what do you do when your thoughts get out of control?
And if you’re saying Kris, I want more, I want to invite you to take our How Toxic are My Thoughts quiz to tell if your thought life needs some transforming. And if you’re saying Kris, I am fully ready, I need to renew my mind. Then I want to invite you to check out my course it’s called Renew.
Renew was created to take you through a four-step journey to control the chaos in your mind and begin the transformation process. So if you are ready to stop those spiraling thoughts and trade your anxiety for peace, go ahead and check out the course.