If we practice it diligently, anxiety can become a habit. If we practice it diligently, serenity can become a habit. Remember that habits are learned behavior. Anxiety can be unlearned. The best way to learn or unlearn is what? Practice! The best time to start is when? How about right now? Today is a good day to forge a path toward confidence in the future and away from worry and anxiety. Will it be easy? Not really. But it will be worth it. We’ll need a lot of energy for the task so let’s start with being joyful. Think of one thing that brings you joy…..if you have to go back a ways, that’s OK. Philippians 4:4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” I don’t know about you, but I want to know the Lord is near. Could it be that by starting with finding something to be joyful about, could be the beginning of the end of our anxiety?
This next step onto the pathway to peace is prayer, talking to God and emptying your soul of the worries, anger, frustrations, and attitudes that are caught in a perpetual cycle. God knows all about them, but acknowledging them before the Lord enables you to give up your control. Philippians 4:6 & 7 reminds us to practice peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I like how Corrie ten Boom wrote, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. “ When we are in that perpetual cycle of worry and anxiety, our energies are completely depleted, leaving almost no hope for a productive day.
Once we have reminded ourselves of the joy factors in our lives, given our worries to the Lord, and turned control of our thoughts over to him, we can go with confidence into our day. Do you need a plan written out so along with your itemized to do list, you have entries like: I refuse to take back my worry about “_____” . I am not going to own “______” because it is outside my control. I am not going to take back “__________” because I have given it to God who controls everything anyway. I’ve needed lists like that. Sometimes I still do.
Today might be one day that the lines of communication are between you and God are red hot due to constant use. I loved this quote by Corrie ten Boom “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” I don’t know about you, but when I plan my day and anticipate what the future holds, I don’t want to be saddled by worry and anxiety. I want to be free to run the race, unshackled by debilitating anxiety. If prayer is my steering wheel, I have a better chance of escaping anxiety and being victorious over worry. Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Escaping Anxiety Tools for a Peaceful Life
- Focus on Philippians 4:8-9 – think on things that bring peace
- Protect your first part of the day; protect your last part of the day
- Learn from the past
- Experience Today