Keeping a Mind on Righteousness
Have you ever wrestled with moments of anxiety? You are not alone. Everyone from time to time has undesirable dreams and random thoughts that enter their mind. The problem is not when these thoughts come and go to be forgotten, but when we hold onto them, allowing them to come again and again. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
For someone to feel weighed down she or he has to be carrying the load around for a while. The world likes us to believe that there is a quick fix for everything, but there usually never is, especially with anxiety. Curing anxiety isn’t as simple as just setting the load down and walking away: it is a very complex emotion. Sometimes alleviating anxiety requires medication–only by the guidance of a trusted medical professional. Another tool that helps is venting your heart out. You may also try stretching, meditation, playing calm music at night, other remedies, or even a combination of these. However, the Bible gives everyone ultimate tool to help beat anxiety: changing your perspective and focus.
Colossians 3:2 reads, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Rather than focusing on our trials and anxious emotions, God wants us to replace our negative thoughts with righteous ideas and actions. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” If you are having trouble, try reading your favorite verse or hymn, or singing “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music.
Once we start feeling a little lighter, that is usually when we can start talking about our troubles and feelings. Communication is an important tool in our destress toolkit because verbalizing our troubles to others lightens our hearts by sharing them. One of the beautiful things about God is that He is available 24/7 to us. Anytime and anywhere, all we have to do is pray. In Philippians 4:6-7, the apostle Paul–inspired by God’s Spirit–encourages us to give God our struggles when he wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When was the last time you looked in a mirror and said, “I love the person that you are, I love the person you are becoming, you are a beautiful soul because God made you”? There is nothing more that God wants than for His children to feel loved and draw near to Him. He expresses this through Jesus when He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”(Matthew 11:28-30).