Overcoming Worry and Anxiety by Spirituality
A key to overcoming worry is to choose to make the anxiety work for you rather than against you. Here are a number of things you can do to beat anxiety using spirituality.
Do Not Worry About Tomorrow Excessively - Do One Day at a Time
Jesus devoted considerable amount of time on worry and anxiety in the sermon on the mount.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble," Jesus concluded. (Matthew 6:34 NKJV)
'One day at a time' has become the motto of many recovery programs. Worry usually involves reaching into and borrowing potential problems from tomorrow.
Stay Away from Avoidance Behavior
Many people try to avoid doing or facing issues that are cause of their anxiety. Unfortunately, this can make the problems worse. Avoidance in the long run will cause anxiety to get worse.
Face the Fear. Do Something
Ending avoidance behavior is a big step toward recovery. We also need to challenge our anxieties or worries. Is our assumptions realistic? Face it straight. One of the best ways to abandon the worry is to simply do something about it.
Add up Your Joys; Never Count
This advice comes from Rev. Robert Schuller of
Possibility Thinking. "Look at what you have left in your life; never look at what you have lost. At a time of sorrow you are so overwhelmed and swamped by the shock, the pain, and the grief that you are not even conscious of the joys that still are alive deep under that blanket of grief. Determine to uncover your smothered joys and let them breathe and flourish again! There are many things that you are still thankful for, even though you do not feel your gratitude. Begin by reminiscing. Relive your happy memories. Treat yourself to replays of that great collection of joyful experiences that have occurred in your past. There are many wonderful things that have happened to you in life."
Count your garden by the flowers,
Never by the leaves that fall.
Count your days by golden hours,
Don't remember clouds at all.
Count your nights by stars, not shadows,
Count your life with smiles, not tears.
And with joy on every birthday,
Count your age by friends, not years.
Meditate on the Psalms
For more than 4,000 years, the Psalms have helped provide an unparalleled sense of peace in times of anxiety and fear. Soldiers have carried copies of psalms into battle. Business leaders keep framed passages from psalms on their desks. President Bush referred to a verse from psalms (Psalm 23) when he spoke to the nation after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the US. Psalms and Lamentations had been the reading of choice during the prayer services immediately following the September 11, 2001 disaster.
Psalm 23 is a favorite of many when they are feeling anxious or depressed. Meditating on your favorite verse in the psalms makes it possible to tolerate your worries and anxiety. You are assured that you have the greatest power in the universe available to you during this difficulty.
Some of the popular favorites:
'What time I am afraid, I will call upon the name of the Lord: (Psalm 56:3)
The twenty-third Psalm: 'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul."
These ancient preventive measures have proved to be remarkably effective catalysts for enhancement of health, reflecting the wisdom of the Great Physician. With the Psalms, prophetic books and passages, the teachings of Jesus, and the exhortations in the Epistles, they constitute the Biblical writings we are calling "wisdom"-a body of literature that offers help, hope, and instruction for all who seek heating and a more vibrant, fulfilling life.
Dale A. Mathews, M.D. : The Faith Factor
Verses Useful in Warding off Anxiety
Twenty Third Psalm
Pray for Peace of Mind and Guidance
Prayer works. It clarifies our worries so that we can go forward rather than being frozen on our tracks because of worry and fear. God can help us weed out the outrageous and irrational fears from the legitimate and rational concerns. He can help us identify the real issues.
|But that's not all. We also brag when we are suffering. We know that suffering creates endurance, endurance creates character, and character creates confidence.
One cause of anxiety is a fear of not being liked. Our anxiety may be rooted in an unhealthy compulsion to gain the approval of others.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil.
The bible tells us it is not about us or how others look at us. It is about our actions, behavior, faith and how God looks at us. Jesus told us to accumulate our assets in heaven so that our hearts will be there rather than in the earth. He asked us to love Him, trust Him, have faith in Him, and love our neighbor as ourselves. It is difficult to do so without loving ourselves. So, it is not about what others think of us; it is about what we think of ourselves and what God think of ourselves. That's where our focus should be.
Throughout the Bible, we are repeatedly told to focus on God as a means for quelling anxiety and depression. Contemporary research confirms this Biblical advice: religious involvement has been repeatedly shown to protect against the development of mental illness.
Listen to Spiritual Music or Sing Hymns When You are Down
Listening to Christian praise music that reminds us of God's grace, goodness, power, and majesty is perfect for those moments when we're feeling anxious and fearful. Singing
hymns is also a great antidote to anxiety and worry.
Use the Great Stories in Bible or Other Spiritual Books as Healing Aids
Bible's stories are useful in understanding healing. Stories or narratives that allow us to experience vividly a "slice of life" lived by another have a special power. For example, many people suffer from mental illness have been comforted by the fact that bible figures such as King Soul, David, Elijah etc. all suffered from anxiety and depression at some time. Bible stories seem especially charged with meaning.
Dr. Dale Mathews, author of 'Faith Factor' says that "to gain intimate spiritual knowledge from Bible stories, we must be open to the stories intellectually and emotionally. We must engage in the same willing suspension of disbelief that allows us to enjoy a movie without constantly thinking, "Now, wait a minute-why am I getting excited? This isn't real, it's just a movie!" We should not approach Bible stories armed with skepticism, but in an honest search for the truth."
"When we start with a receptivity to the movement of God in our lives, we will grow in our relationship to scripture, and our capacity to receive healing through the Bible will grow as well. The requirement for this growth is simple: a regular commitment to prayerful, faithful
Bible-reading. Once we have set out on this path, we can expect to come to our own very personal understandings of their meanings," according to Dr. Mathews.
Verses Useful in Warding off Anxiety
and Anxiety With Prayer and Spirituality