When struggling with anxious thoughts, our bodies tense up, especially in the neck and shoulders. When fighting worry and stress, stop what you’re doing and systematically release each muscle group. Start from the top and intentionally relax your neck and shoulders. Then relax your arms, torso, and legs, ending with your feet. This physical release will convince your emotions you are safe.
- Distract yourself.
One of the best things to do when combating worry and stress is to distract yourself. If you feel like you can’t breathe, the worst thing you could do is to think about breathing. So read your Bible or open a novel. Turn on the television. Go outside and change your environment. Distract your thoughts with something else until you feel calm.
- Turn to Scripture.
Speaking Scripture out loud is the best way to combat the enemy lies attacking your mind and emotions. If you have a Bible handy, flip it open and start reading. Better yet, before the attack comes, have particular verses on worry memorized so you can fight back wherever you are. Some verses to memorize include:
Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.