The simple + silly tip (that works!) I use to stop my anxious thoughts

October 26, 2019

Fall flowers, iPad, clutch wallet, miscellaneous desk items, and a cup of coffee on a white background

Today’s post has been sponsored by…anxiety.

Not kidding. I’m not exactly sure why, but the past few months have been very challenging for me with anxiety. Every morning I’ve woken up with a gnawing feeling in my belly that I can’t get rid of. *It should be noted that I wrote this post right before I flew on a plane, something I hadn’t done in over a decade because #fear and ramifications from Vascular EDS surgeries. But. I survived the plane! And my anxiety has gone WAY down since then.

But this post is about when it doesn’t.

I know that Jesus can completely remove my struggle with anxiety, but it seems for this season that He has chosen to let it remain. So I’m challenging myself to think about anxiety in a new way:

What would happen if we started considering our battle with anxiety as an opportunity to trust Jesus more?

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." - Philippians 4:6

I’ve got a rather large toolbox labeled anxiety battle, filled with things I use during seasons like this. Today, I want to share with you the quick tip I’m using to stop my anxious thoughts.

It probably sounds a bit silly and it’s rather simple, but it works.

I make my brain point out obvious things.
Okay, let me explain.

I’m showing my age here, but remember playing records on your record machine? If you’re not old enough to remember, just google it;) My first record was a Mickey Mouse exercise routine. Anyone surprised by this? Ha!

Anyhoo, you place the record onto the machine and drop the needle into a groove to get it playing. And as long as the needle stays in that groove, the record plays on. Unless…your brother is playing football in the house and his aim is off and his ball knocks the needle off the record. The needle scratches and the song is over.

My brain is like that when I am struggling with anxiety. It’s stuck in a groove and I need a needle scratch.

So I’ve got to trick my brain to think in a new groove. To do that, I start pointing out obvious things around me.

  • The carpet is blue.
  • The sun is shining.
  • My shirt is wrinkled.
  • We are out of milk.

However many basic and obvious things I’ve got to point out until my thoughts settle, I keep doing it.

But I don’t stop there.

Then I open my Bible and start filling my brain with the voice of God. It’s a new groove pattern and it works to calm my breathing and shift my focus on Him, instead of my anxious thoughts.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

And then I take a deep breath and move on, telling Jesus I trust Him and thanking Him for the opportunity to trust Him more with this crazy battle with anxiety.

Three steps to stop anxious thoughts: Make your brain point out obvious things, read the Bible, and take a deep breath.

Step 1: Find a new groove. Make your brain point out obvious things.

Step 2: Read the Bible.

Step 3: Breathe deeply. I trust you, Jesus.

I repeat that process as many times as I need to throughout the day. And for me…it works. I hope it does for you too.

What tangible tips do you use to manage anxiety? Comment below to encourage others that will stop by.

Wishing you a week filled with deep, calming breaths. I’m rooting for you, always.

Text RESCUED to 33777 to receive my 14-day courage devotional + my 10-day devotional study on Esther #biblestudy #devotional #courageousfaith | www.therescuedletters.com
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