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10 Helpful Things to do When You Struggle with Anxiety

10 Helpful Things to do When You Struggle with Anxiety

In our fast-moving society, everyone is anxious about something. Whether it’s health, careers, children, relationships or finances, there’s easily something to stress over if we think about it long enough. Sometimes these stressors can morph into full anxiety, where our bodies fight against us and go into panic mode. In those times, it’s easy to feel out of control, helpless and scared.

Many times Christians are hesitant to admit they struggle with anxiety, because they feel like they shouldn’t. They think their faith should be strong enough to prevent it from coming. But struggling with stress and anxiety doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human. There is grace for those moments—and the Lord wants to walk through your anxiety with you, not condemn you for it.

Whether you’re suffering from a full fledge anxiety attack or carry a constant burden of worry, know you’re not alone. He is with you.

There are several things Christians struggling with anxiety can do for relief. 

  • 1. Breathe.

    Deep breathing is a proven source of relief for anxiety attacks. Breathing helps reassure your body the danger is past and it can relax. Take a long breath in through your nose and release it slowly through your mouth. Your body should start calming down immediately. Repeat until your heart rate is normal.

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  • 2. Speak the truth.

    Speak the truth. When struggling with anxiety, the lies are loud. You might feel like you can’t breathe, like you’re dying, like the feeling will never end. Tell yourself the truth. You can breathe. You are not dying. The attack will end. Remind yourself what’s real. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, speak truth: “I am okay,” and “this will end.”

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  • 3. Relax.

    When struggling with anxious thoughts, our bodies tense up, especially in the neck and shoulders. When fighting worry and stress, stop what you’re doing and systematically release each muscle group. Start from the top and intentionally relax your neck and shoulders. Then relax your arms, torso, and legs, ending with your feet. This physical release will convince your emotions you are safe.   

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  • 4. Distract yourself.

    One of the best things to do when combating worry and stress is to distract yourself. If you feel like you can’t breathe, the worst thing you could do is to think about breathing. So read your Bible or open a novel. Turn on the television. Go outside and change your environment. Distract your thoughts with something else until you feel calm. 

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  • 5. Turn to Scripture.

    Speaking Scripture out loud is the best way to combat the enemy lies attacking your mind and emotions. If you have a Bible handy, flip it open and start reading. Better yet, before the attack comes, have particular verses on worry memorized so you can fight back wherever you are. Some verses to memorize include:
    Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

    John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

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  • 6. Turn on worship music.

    The enemy flees when God is being glorified. Turn on worship music and some of the darkness will lift. Praising God through word and song is one of the best ways to fight back against worry and stress. Going through a mental checklist of blessings and focusing on the ways God has provided for you in the past will also help redirect praise to Him and away from troublesome thoughts. 

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  • 7. Pray.

    Talking to God verbally or journaling a prayer is one of the most effective ways to fight anxiety. He’s there for you and knows your thoughts anyway. Tell them to Him. Seek His help. He’s not judging, He’s there ready to comfort and offer reassurance. Go to Him. 

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  • 8. Change something around you.

    Anxiety would most frequently hit me while I was driving. So if I had on sunglasses, I’d take them off. If I didn’t have them on, I’d put them on. Or I’d turn the air conditioner vent to blow directly on my face. If you’re at home when anxiety strikes, turn on or off a nearby light. Fold a blanket on the couch. It’s subtle, but just the act of changing something or performing a mundane physical task can help us feel less out of control. 

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  • 9. Tell someone.

    If possible, confide in someone when anxiety strikes. Send an “SOS” text message or phone call. Let them pray for you or speak encouragement over you. Don’t fight the battle alone out of embarrassment. Everyone struggles with something, and there’s no reason to be ashamed in your struggle. Seek help from a friend or family members if it’s available. 

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  • 10. Don’t call yourself a failure.

    You are not a failure or a bad Christian because you struggle with anxiety attacks or deal with heavy amounts of stress. The victory has been won in Jesus, and there is grace for each moment. Turn to Him, and let Him fight for you. He loves you and will never leave you or forsake you—not even in the midst of anxiety. 

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    Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fourteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her newlywed hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with HarperCollins, LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES, and POCKET PRAYERS FOR FRIENDS with Max Lucado. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com./