Faith & Life: How to Effectively Handle Anxious Thoughts


Woman wearing a white sweater and pink skirt sitting on a bench and looking nervous
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How to Effectively Handle Anxious Thoughts

While You Work on Trusting God More

by J.M. Troppello


Having anxious thoughts is no fun. They can quickly spin out of control and send your mind and heart down negative rabbit trails. I speak from experience on this. For years, I allowed anxious thoughts to get me down and cause me to have trouble trusting God. He delivered me from this issue. Yet, after my recent bout with COVID, I had to start all over again with handling my anxious thoughts. It was 12 days of being extremely sick, with a high level of anxiety due to having trouble sleeping because of the severe congestion and breathing problems.


However, God helped me through this time. Thankfully, healing came, but the feeling of being weak has lasted for a while. I needed to continually remind myself of the following things to help me handle those anxious thoughts while trying to trust God through this time.


1. Pray Arrow Prayers


The biggest help for me during this time was to stay connected to God. There were many times during this 12-day period where I didn’t even have the energy to open my Bible and read it. I barely made it through eating a bit of food for lunch and then would have to go lay down and sleep again. Arrow prayers were my lifeline to God. I would just say things like Jesus help me. I need You, Lord. Please heal me, God. Please give me peaceful sleep. Those words anchored my soul. I knew that God heard my arrow prayers. I felt the peace through those many times, whispered words.


2. Find an Anchor


My husband was a big anchor for me during this time. My sister, who lives next door, checked on me every day through text and brought tea and other health items over. My mom texted me each day too to check-in. For several days, I lost my voice. And besides that, I had no energy to talk on the phone. The texts were nice and helpful. They helped me to see that I was not alone. I had other friends check in with me too through FB messenger and DM’s.


3. Listen to Godly Content


It was so hard for me to even open the Bible. I had no strength. I had a metallic taste in my mouth and then lost my taste for a while. It was difficult to eat through the severe congestion. My appetite was gone. I was weak because I couldn’t eat enough. Listening to Godly content on YouTube (devotionals, sermons, etc.) helped me a lot. During this time, I heard God’s Word spoken, and that helped to calm my anxious thoughts.


4. Focus on Praising God


It was hard work—especially during this time—but I tried to praise God through my weakness. I would recite verses (or only portions of the verses that I could remember) like this one from II Corinthians.


Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (II Cor. 12:10, NKJV)

Many times, I would repeat that I am weak, but strong in Christ. Jesus, you are my strength. Thank You, Lord, for helping me through this time. I had to focus on Jesus as my all in all.


Trust in God


I’m not dismissing your anxious thoughts or mine. I know it can be extremely difficult to hand them over to God and leave those worries in His capable hands. You can use the following four ways to help you handle those anxious thoughts.


  • Pray arrow prayers

  • Find an anchor

  • Listen to Godly content

  • Focus on praising God


3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.4 Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4, NKJV)


God wants to help you let go of those anxious thoughts and trust in Him to experience that true peace. The main key is that when your mind is stayed on God, then you can have that true peace.


Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.

 

About the Author


JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.


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