How Do I Stop Feeling so Anxious?
Anxiety. Worry. Fear.
We’ve all felt these emotions. They can be exhausting. They keep us on edge and tense. They can even lead us to make decisions we regret later. Fear can be good: it can keep us out of trouble. But fear is harmful when it keeps us from living in the fullness of all God has for us. It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to live in constant fear.
Fear doesn’t have to run – or ruin—your life. In fact, if you understand the root causes of your fear, which I’ll share in a moment, it can actually lead you to a closer relationship with God as you seek Him.
To start, you probably want to know, How do I stop feeling so anxious?
Great question. And the best place to begin getting your fear and anxiety under control is to look at where anxiety comes from.
When you get anxious about something happening around you, it’s always because of something happening inside you. Anxiety and fear come when we feel that something we need, want, or value is being threatened.
There are three specific things we all want and need. We want:
1. Security (physically, financially, and emotionally)
2. Connection (relationships, feeling valued and accepted)
3. Control (empowerment, choices, and options)
When we feel anxiety and fear, it’s because one of these three things is being threatened.
There’s nothing wrong with you for wanting those things. In fact, God made us need them. But, He created us to get all those needs met through Him. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they were separated from God – the only source of perfect fulfillment of those needs. They immediately felt fear and anxiety. (Genesis 3:10) We’ve all felt fear ever since this separation. The good news is, because of Jesus, we are reconnected to God’s perfect love which fulfills all those needs – if we’ll look to Him for it.
The security, connection, and control/empowerment we want will never come from how much we have, who we know, or where we work. Our spouse, our kids, and our retirement savings can never offer the perfect fulfillment of those needs. Only God’s perfect love can do that. The only way to feel your needs are truly met is in God’s love. Experiencing God’s perfect love drives out our fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear....The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18, NIV)
When you start to get worried or anxious and you are tempted to start looking for security, connection, or control from things around you, take a moment to slow down and pray. Remind yourself that God’s love is the source of all you need. Let His perfect love replace your fear with perfect peace.