There’s grace for the anxious, fearful heart. For all who wrestle with anxiety, God’s Word offers hope for the future and help for today. He comes alongside you and says, “Do not fear, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). To the fearful heart, the Bible says, “With his love, he will calm all your fears” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT).
The following is a “personalized plan” from our Keys for Living book on Anxiety. A personalized plan is designed to help you identify steps to take, based on God’s Word, to overcome challenges in life. The steps can be personalized to your unique situation with “I will” statements. We pray that the Lord will meet you in your anxiety and help you move forward with hope.
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
My Personalized Plan:
7 Steps for Managing Anxiety
As I seek God’s help with my anxiety, I will . . .
Remember God’s character
When you’re anxious, you might be tempted to think that God doesn’t care about you, or He’s not in control, or He’s not powerful enough to change anything. This can lead to the belief that you have to hold everything together. Realize, your view of God can either make matters seem worse or help you keep calm and see things clearly.
- I will seek to know God’s character by reading His Word and asking Him to reveal Himself to me.
- I will believe that God is good, that He is with me, and that He will help me – and trust that He is in control and has my best interests at heart.
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:8–9).
Address physical issues
Anxiety is not just an emotional or cognitive issue but also a physical issue. It can be caused by or result in physical changes, so it is therefore important to address any physical issues that may be contributing to your anxiety.
- I will talk with a doctor about the symptoms I am experiencing and seek treatment.
- I will seek to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising regularly, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, avoiding harmful substances, and learning relaxation techniques.
“I discipline my body and keep it under control” (1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV).
Talk with others
Anxiety can consume your thoughts and emotions and impair your ability to work and go about daily life. It is therefore important to share your struggles to help process your thoughts and emotions – and gain helpful guidance from others.
- I will consider seeking help from a professional counselor, supportive people in my church or community, and/or talk with trusted friends and family members.
- I will be honest about how I’m feeling and what I’m experiencing.
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 11:14 NASB).
Change thought patterns
Anxiety can cloud your judgment, hinder your decision making, cause difficulties in concentrating, and lead you to believe the future is grim. Addressing your thoughts and thought patterns is critical to managing and even overcoming anxiety.
- I will keep a journal and write down my honest thoughts.
- I will seek to align my thoughts with God’s Word, identifying thoughts that are based on lies and replacing them with God’s truth.
“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).
Be in community
Anxiety leads many people to avoid social interactions. Taken to an extreme, you could become isolated and alone. God made us to be in relationships with one another. Having supportive friendships can go a long way toward helping gain a sense of wholeness, wellness, and normalcy.
- I will regularly meet with friends and family members to talk, share a meal, or go out together.
- I will look into joining a local church, small group, Bible study, or community support group.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 NLT).
Stay active spiritually
God cares deeply about you and your struggles. When you’re anxious, He wants to hear from you. He provides help through His Word, His people, and most of all, His constant presence.
- I will maintain an active spiritual life by praying, reading God’s Word, and meeting with other believers to help me grow.
- I will constantly seek to grow in my relationship with Christ, who loves me and gives me grace each day.
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
Hang on to hope
It’s been said that a person can live weeks without food, days without water, seconds without air, but not a moment without hope. Anxiety often leads people to think negatively about the future, so it is important to maintain a hopeful outlook on life.
- I will remember that true, lasting hope is found not in my circumstances but in God and His Word.
- I will mediate on God’s promises in the Bible, remembering that I can always have hope.
“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).