Anxious thoughts are nothing new. In fact, the Bible is chock-full of historical accounts of people dealing (or not) with their anxieties and fears. And as it turns out, one of the most practical step-by-step instructive writings in the Bible about overcoming anxiety comes from the book of Philippians. #Philippians
Modern therapy methods that are evidence-based suggest a cognitive behavioral approach. Guess what. That’s not really new either because Philippians draws straight from a guard your thoughts approach and encourages retraining thinking (mind). But Philippians ups the ante by drawing on God and prayer as well. Here’s how it goes: #CBT #guardyourheartandmind
Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT), “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
That’s a lot, so here’s the step-by-step when you’re feeling anxious:
Pray and ask God for what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Deep breath in, exhale big and slow. #pray
We are promised His peace when we do this part and doing this helps to guard both heart and mind. Because that’s where anxiety attacks – your heart pounds, chest constricts, and thoughts race. So, guarding your heart and mind is huge – and it’s an outcome of prayer! #peace
Train your thoughts on things that are true (rather than irrational), pure, beautiful to think about, things that are admirable and sought after, and being successful. Stay in the present. #trainyourthoughts
Practice. It is not a one-and-done. Friends, we have learned to be anxious by allowing anxious thoughts to rule. It’s a battle. We have never become excellent at anything without practice and consistency. #practice
This is both biblically based and backed by science – but, hey it’s God’s truth, so no surprise there. For some folks, having a good therapist to help stay accountable is necessary. For others, both therapy and medications to help break the cycle are the recipe for success.
Don’t give up! There is hope and healing and it can be yours with practice.