How to Overcome Anxious Thoughts During Distress

In times of distress, fear, worry and extreme need, anxious thoughts crowd our minds. Many who do not ordinarily suffer from anxiety and depression, are overwhelmed with concern at any given time. We may find that we cannot talk ourselves out of the grasp of that fear nor shake off the anxious thoughts.  They are real – very real – and have invaded the normality of our lives.  Read on to discover how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress.

Today we will be talking about:

  • How to Overcome Anxious Thoughts During Distress
  • Anxious Thoughts
  • Fear and Anxiety During Times of Distress
  • What is Anxiety?
  • Anxious and worrisome days will come our way – a surety
  • Anxiety During the Global Pandemic
  • Leaning on Faith in God During Times of Anxiety
  • What Does the Bible Say about Anxiety During a Crisis?
  • Identify the enemy of your peace
  • Identify the source of that joy and delight that fills our soul and gives us stability in the toughest times
  • How to Kick Anxiety to the Curb
  • Meditate on Good Things!
  • How to Reap the rewards of planning, trusting, leading and serving
  • Get Trusted Help When You Need it
  • How to Renew Recharge Prepare and Be Ready for Distressing Times
  • Helping Others During Quarantine can decrease Anxious Thoughts
  • Your future is Bright!

Fear and Anxiety During Times of Distress

In times of distress, fear, worry and extreme need, anxious thoughts crowd our minds. Many who do not ordinarily suffer from anxiety and depression, are overwhelmed with concern at any given time. We may find that we cannot talk ourselves out of the grasp of that fear nor shake off the anxious thoughts.  They are real – very real – and have invaded the normality of our lives.  Read on to discover how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.

Arthur Roche

 Forty million American adults say they have some type of anxiety.  When this thin stream of fear turns into a river of panic, our lives may experience a startling degree of angst. 

We may question our faith, our sanity, our strength, our perseverance, and all the many variations of self- control we have learned in order to harness our reactions to the unending causes of stress in our lives.

And then comes a sudden harsh and debilitating illness, a pandemic, an explosive relationship – you name it.  And our worries mount, the tenseness is unrelenting, and we fear giving over in defeat to our feelings.

These are not “if or maybe times” – they will come.  Psalm 94:19 addresses it thusly:

WHEN my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolation and comfort delight my soul.

 Psalm 94:19

Anxious and worrisome days will come our way – a surety

In this life, we will have trials and tribulations. We may feel anxious over good things to come – how we will deal with it – will we make the right choice of school, of spouse, of job.  Decisions make us anxious. That is normal and probably a good thing since it indicates the reality of the seriousness of the decision. Read on to discover how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress.

 Other days bring us health worries – waiting for a lab report that will impact our life in every way.  Will it be treatable, will it be debilitating, will it be fatal?  Even the most well-adjusted person will feel anxious as we wait. If it is the health of a family member, we may also feel quite distraught.  Left to their own, our minds will usually jump to the worst possible outcome.  

Anxiety During the Global Pandemic

The pandemic of 2020 has dropped a cloud of worry and anxiety over everyone.  Not only the fear of the disease, but the economic and educational losses impact us more than we would ever have thought possible.  The entire world is affected.  The uncertainty of treatment and the surety of the presence of the unseen enemy is very worrisome to even the most stable.  And the unknown of the future destabilizes the best of planners. 

How do we handle this?  Obviously, if the anxiety is immobilizing, or is preventing normal functions, or has thrown you or a loved one into severe depression or suicidal ideation, you need to seek the help of a mental health provider.  

If there are thoughts of suicide, Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255             

Others are plagued with fear of loss of jobs, loss of home, lack of education for their children.  Tension causes family stress and quarreling and fighting. Others are forced to isolate due to age or health problems, creating loneliness and misunderstandings.  

It is not surprising that we are living in a time of high universal anxiety. How do we tone it down in our own life?

Leaning on Faith in God During Times of Anxiety

Much as we have been taught to save money for a rainy day – and we’ve had way too many rainy days, huh?  We need to prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually to be strong, grounded, well-informed, and rooted in faith in order to withstand the storms that are in our future.

This might include building strong relationships, growing a family that is loving and supportive even when our lives are turned upside down. Become grounded in faith in God, knowing that he is in control and finding strength and help from the true God who is omnipresent – always with us, always inviting us to cast our cares on him and always giving us a future. Read on to discover how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress.

Where is God When I’m Scared?

Our God is omniscient – all-knowing. He is not only with us but he knows and understands our pain, our hurt and he hears our cries. Building a relationship with him in the good times prepares us to weather the bad times holding tight to our belief in him and our trust in Jesus Christ.  If you would like to know Jesus Christ, please watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU VIDEO on this page.

This is the true God who is not only powerful but is love itself. Because of his mercy, he offers us grace to believe and trust him for forgiveness of our sins because he paid for those sins on the cross.  

Entering a time of hardship, of illness, dealing with a prodigal child, loss of job – whatever the loss– when we have faith in the living God, it makes us more able to deal with these things that may plague us, because we know God is ultimately in control and that he will redeem the bad times for our good. Having that relationship can prevent us from crumbling or losing our control because we remember his promise and believe that he will see us through.  

What Does the Bible Say about Anxiety During a Crisis?

Recently I had a jolting happening in my life and I cried out to God.  Hundreds of friends prayed for me. In thumbing through my Bible, I was led to see a verse that I was not familiar with and it has given me great comfort and joy as I recover.  I want to share it with you again: Read on to discover how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.  Psalm 94:19

Note that it does not say IF you have anxious thoughts, it says when.  And we all know the way that anxious thoughts can multiply within. Our thoughts usually jump to the worst possible scenario. In line with this thought then, we are not to put ourselves down, but rather trust the God who knows us so well.  And being reminded that he is in control, that he loves me, and that he is going to be with me in recovery and into acceptance – this has consoled and comforted me and given me great joy and delight in my soul because of his promise.

Identify the enemy of your peace

You were formed and given life by the Holy Creator, God himself. He made you for a purpose, gifted you for what you would need, calls you his own, gave you the title of child of the king.  He longs for you to trust him, to have faith in him, to believe in his work of salvation on the cross for you.

When you hear words that make you fearful, alone, no-good, incompetent, a failure, weak, and on and on – these are not words from God.  These are words from Satan, the Devil, the enemy.  He wants to destroy you, to ruin your reputation, to make you fail, to isolate you from those who love you, to cripple your plans, and to make you cower in fear and writhe in anxiety.  

But God is able!  God is near. He is in control!  Be alert and take action. God will give you the necessary tools.

How to Kick Anxiety to the Curb

Max Lucado helps us remember the remedy for uncurbed anxiety with an acronym CALM:

C – Celebrate God’s goodness.  Celebrate that God is always near. With all his omnipotence (power) and love, he is omnipresent – even in our most fearful moments and in the dark places.  God is good. He loves us and wants to comfort us and give us joy.

A – Ask God for help. If you have not invited him into your life to take control, now is the time. He loves you and is ready to forgive and to help you every moment of every day. We all have that need. We all need the Savior. These times are too difficult without the presence of God in our lives.

L – List things that you are grateful for.  Just writing down our blessings – and this is an endless list – takes away much of the concern.  We see how much we are already blessed when we see them itemized. We acknowledge his presence. Even as our worries multiply within us, we continue to list our blessings and our souls rejoice, for we know there is a God and that he is near and wants us to trust him.  

M – Meditate on things that are true. Let go ridiculous fears that Satan has planted. Meditate on the truths of God. Believe He will be with you to the end of time.  Express your gratitude verbally. Gratitude is a known healer. Expressing gratitude releases the chemicals in our brain that reduce anxiety. Practice gratitude. Have a grateful heart.  

Meditate on Good Things!

Dwell on the good things.  Memorize the beautiful verses. Actualize beauty of remembrance of sunsets and flowers and the sound of water in a mountain stream.  It has been said if you can worry, you can meditate. Practice that.  Get as good at listing good and beneficial things as you were at listing fears and dark threats. 

In Philippians 4:4-6, we are told to rejoice and not to be anxious for anything. Then we are told to think about whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good report, or things that are so good they need to be shared.  And if we practice these things, the God of Peace will be with us and calm our anxious hearts. This is an action verse. This verse can change our mindset. 

That probably means that we need to limit the amount of time we spend listening to world news, troublemakers spewing vitriol, anything connected with the dark side of life, whether on the web or with people or organizations. Guard yourselves.  Do not let your mind delve into satanic practice. Read on to discover how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress.

Reap the rewards of planning, trusting, leading and serving

Living an orderly life, planning carefully, trusting and being trustworthy, becoming a leader and serving others increases our opportunity to find meaning in everything. We will not be without problems, we will never on this earth have a life completely devoid of stress. 

We must always be aware to find the truth in everything with the wisdom that we are given. But we will be able to find truth, good choices, dependable persons to pray with and share our worries, people who will help us find answers and walk beside us through those anxious times. 

Get Trusted Help When You Need it

Having a friend, a confidant or a paid counsellor with whom to share our fears when they loom larger and more foreboding than ever, is essential. Make it a point to identify and develop a relationship before the tumultuous times begin to drown you.  We all need each other.

 Aloneness itself can be a fearful place. Communicating with others, communicating with God and, yes, talking to yourself to affirm what you believe and what you know to be true, rids the mind of the lies that are trying to build a permanent nest within you.  

Whatsoever things that are true – right – pure – of good report.  Let these fill our mind and heart to the point that we can share these truths with love to the millions who are struggling with the same type anxieties. 

Each battle won makes us stronger for the next attack, for the next blow, the next test.  We now have a history of winning the battle, staying the course, hitting the mark.  And that lowers our “anxietyometer” considerably.  

Remember your history with God.  He will never let you down. As this time of intense pain and suffering, the prayers of Christians are most needed. Share your prayer request with your trusted prayer warriers.  

Renew Recharge Prepare and Be Ready for Distressing Times

Understandably, we are all feeling overwhelmed by the current 2020 pattern of one crisis after another.  The pandemic, the hateful political climate, the wildfires, unemployment, hurricane after hurricane.  Stop, we yell inwardly.  Enough is enough.  

But we will renew, recharge, prepare and be ready every day with the armor of God and from the refreshing time spent with Him as the day begins. Many people are depending on you and on me. 

Let us then look for the good stories. The accounts of how neighbors are helping others, of food drives, of feeding stations, and of the extraordinary feats of firefighters and medical personnel who are being overused and tested to meet the demands of these disasters. 

Relate the true stories of the strength of the inner man and woman who extend hope for survival in the worst of circumstances. Think of the children and young people who have brought their own ideas to fruition with ways to bring joy and comfort to others. 

Helping Others During Quarantine can decrease Anxious Thoughts

Even those who are quarantined, and the self-isolating can make calls to the aged, the lonely, the forgotten, with a word of encouragement. The pandemic has affected every person and every country. We all need to know that we are not alone. 

Making a call, feeding the hungry, driving someone to the doctor – all these things release the chemicals that release pent up anger and fear. We heal ourselves as we reach out to heal others. 

These times have also brought families closer as the concern for each other and the yearning for close get-togethers again causes an eruption of love and warmth.  May we all be better and calmer and kinder as we emerge from this time of multi-trials. Let us share the strength we have with those who are fearful that another disaster is imminent.  

Your future is Bright!

Our future is bright. Renew your relationship with God; recharge your positive batteries; prepare by doing outstanding work in your field; be ready to help someone; be ready to laugh with someone; share the love and encouragement that you have been given. There is plenty for all.  

Be the light in your neighborhood, your group, your office, and your home. Our future is indeed bright. I am excited about tomorrow. 

I hope you were helped by reading how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress. If you would like to receive Jesus as you Lord and Savior, please watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU video on this page.

May God bless you and keep you.

how to overcome anxious thoughts during distress, anxiety

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If this video connected with you in some way, and you’d like to find out more about having a relationship with God and how His forgiveness and grace applies to you, a great place to start is praying the prayer below. The words themselves aren’t magic, but if you earnestly pray them and mean them, God will hear you! He’ll help you in ways you don’t understand, and we’ll help you find support and next steps.

The Prayer

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray,

Amen.

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God loves you – specifically you! And because He does, you have a bright future! Trust Him to help you find it.

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