3 am and I was wide awake again. After checking my phone, I ran through the list of things that I would need to do the next morning, I figured this would ease my anxiety, it didn't.
For some reason, nights are often when our deepest anxieties make their way to the surface.
3 hours till I needed to get up, at this point, it feels hopeless, maybe you've been in this similar situation. Many of us deal with this anxiety.
Today, I just want to focus on some practical things you can do to help ease your anxiety.
Now, I do want to make clear that I do not want to separate anxiety from that of being a heart issue, in fact, these practical things are meant to help you undress the heart issue that anxiety is.
That being said, some of these can help to ease our thinking and reorient our perspective to that of Christ.
Let's get into it.
Relational prayer with God
So often when we are overwhelmed with anxiety, we tend to go to God in prayer like this “Oh God, please take this anxiety away”, now I want to be clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with praying this prayer to God, but in the right context.
I want to encourage you to approach God in relational prayer, that is, not merely asking God to take you anxiety away, but to approach him with openness and authenticity.
Tell God what you're thinking, what your experiencing, be vulnerable with him. Ask him to use your anxiety to move you closer to him.
In doing that and being attentive to God’s spirit within you, you will begin to find rest in that relationship, rather than treating God as a vending machine ready to spit out whatever your heart desires.
God’s there for you, approach him looking for a relationship, not a quick fix to your anxiety and you’ll begin to see that when our relationship with God is front and center, well be able to reorient our perspective, towards Christ not to our anxiety.
Unplug and Journal
For me, when I’m met with overwhelming feelings of anxiety, it really helps me to first cut any noise out from around me.
You might need to move away from busy areas for a bit, turn off your phone and just take a second to sit.
And in addition to prayer, I find it really helpful to get a note pad and pen and just began to write.
You are not writing an essay (for most people that would give you more anxiety), you are simply writing down what's on your mind, all the stuff that’s pin-balling around your mind that could be causing your unnecessary feelings of anxiety. This might in could write a “to-do” list or a “thing you need to remember” list. You could also write a prayer to God.
All of these things in my experience tend to reorient our perspective on Christ and calm us.
Now above, I recommended that you escape the noise, pray, and write some of what’s on your heart to help you overcome and deal with anxiety. However, I don’t want you to stay in this kind of isolation for other people.
The challenge that we have is that when we are overwhelmed and anxious, many of us tend to withdraw from people and lean into isolation, but as I’ve said in other blog posts, God did not design us to battle these issues on our own.
Talk to someone you trust, began an open and authentic conversation with someone where you can talk about these issues.
If you're a little fuzzy on how to do that, I hope to answer that question in depth in the future. However, for now, began a conversation with a friend and just be honest about what you're going through, but also be attentive to what they're going through as well, it's a two-way street.
I believe that you’ll find this kind of authentic relationship to be not only beneficial to you as you battle anxiety, but essential to your flourishing a follower of Christ!
I pray that through these 3 recommendations you’ll be better equipped to overcome a deal with your anxiety that can often be crippling to the believer.
Remember, there is hope and you are not alone in this!
Thanks for Reading :)