In these uncertain economic times, it is very easy to get anxious and worry about your future. Often anxious thoughts can become overwhelming. Also, children are starting to become more and more anxious as well. Here are some tried and true techniques to deal with any kind of anxiety. These techniques can work with children and adults.
1. Pray to God for peace and trust that He is sovereign in your life. Leave your worries with Him. He will be up all night anyway. Read scripture that addresses the issue of worrying. An excellent Christian Book and Bible Study on this topic is “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. This is a book you will read and reread for years to come.
2. Remember to breathe deeply. Take deep belly breaths and hold for 10 seconds and then slowly release the breath for 10 seconds.
3. Schedule time to worry. Each day you are allowed to worry for 15 minutes about anything. If a thought comes up that is not during the worry time, tell the thought you can worry during the scheduled worry time.
4. Journal what you are worrying about. Writing thoughts down gets the thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Often after writing down your thoughts you receive clarity about the situation you are worried about and can develop an action plan.
5. Are you worrying about something you can actually change? If so, then make the change. If not, then how is worrying beneficial?
6. Look back over your life and realize that most of the things you worried about in the past, in reality, never happened.
7. Get physical. Take a walk or go for a run. Just get moving. It is hard to be anxious and physical at the same time. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant and anti-anxiety remedy.
8. Bring to mind a place where you love to relax (ex. looking at the ocean, hiking, etc.). Place yourself in the picture and remember the calm feelings you experienced at your special place.
9. Call a friend or do something with your family to get your mind off your anxious thoughts. Distraction is a great way to reduce anxiety.
10. Focus on being in the moment constantly. Work on the task at hand with all your might. You can make it from this moment to the next moment. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow or even the next minute.
As a matter of fact, worrying has never solved anything. Do you ever remember saying to yourself, “Worrying about that problem or situation made me feel so much better?” I expect not. Yet, some of us can be prone to anxious thoughts and worry. The above techniques can help decrease your anxiety to make it more manageable.
The Bible is clear that when we worry that shows a lack of trust in our Savior. May we trust in Him with the big worries and the little ones as well. Learn to rest in your Savior’s arms and leave your worries with Him.