How to Overcome Anxiety and Find Lasting Peace with 4 Simple Steps

How to Overcome Anxiety and Find Lasting Peace with 4 Simple Steps

Learn how to overcome anxiety and find lasting peace with 4 simple steps - Reduce your worry about career, family, finances, health, attitudes of others, and more...

Tags: anxiety, peace, reflection, how to overcome anxiety, overcome anxiety, Loading...


I've got a college class starting next week.

Yep... years after finishing grad school, I will be an official college student again.

Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy learning. I have been teaching myself everything from web development to computer programming to music copyrighting since I finished my last college course nearly 10 years ago.

But I find myself with a great deal of anxiety about this upcoming class.

You see, I've been having dreams about missing deadlines and being unprepared on exam days. I've also found myself reflecting on my impending orientation day - literally losing sleep over the day the syllabus arrives!

And then Matthew 11:28 came to mind, and reminded me that I am called to find rest from all anxiety in Christ.

It got me thinking... How should this apply in our daily lives to truly eliminate our anxieties?

In my reflection and study, I came up with this simple 4-step process for how to overcome anxiety and find lasting peace.

No Shortage of Anxiety


If you are anything like me, you find there is no shortage of things and circumstances about which to worry.

As we take on more and more responsibility throughout our lives, we are tasked with being stewards of much more.

The thought of my college class was somewhat concerning on its own, but felt overwhelming when added to everything else I routinely worry about.

Consider work. We are stewards of our careers in a way that can be downright scary. After all, we as individuals feel completely responsible for our own success, right?

Now consider home life. Once we start building families, our responsibilities (and associated anxieties) can seem to multiply exponentially!

We worry about how good of a provider or homemaker we are...

We worry about who our kids are becoming...

We worry about our relationships with friends, co-workers, family, and kids - both now and in the future...

And on and on!

But what would it be like to sleep peacefully most nights, knowing that all is well?

The Shadow of Our Anxiety


Have you ever taken a moment to reflect on where all the worry and anxiety in our lives comes from?

After all, if we better understand the source, we can better uproot its influence in our lives.

But before we explore that source, here's a sobering dose of reality...

Will our circumstances ever be exactly the way we want them to be? Will there ever be a moment in time when our finances, career, home life, and relationships with others and God feel perfect?

If you answered "no," you already realize there is a lie you may be chasing in your pursuit of peace.

If you answered "yes," I'd ask you to consider how permanent such a moment would remain if it actually arrived... and how many little things could change to disrupt that perfection.

You see, the reality is that very few things are actually under our control. That's why I call CONTROL the shadow of our anxiety.

Our work and effort to control our circumstances and chase perfection becomes exhausting. In addition, it induces anxiety mostly because control is never ours in the first place.

So that begs the question - "who or what IS in control?"

And here's the good news. Our God is in control.

Which begs another question - is that a good thing?

It could be frightening. But it is actually quite liberating. Here's why...

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

So if God is in control, and His innate motivation is to work all things for good, can you see how we truly have nothing to worry about?

Now this does not mean that there won't be hardships, because of course, we live in a broken world.

What it does mean, though, is that we can be fully assured that our God is continuously working for our good. Even the ugliness in our lives and in our world will manifest as the best for us and for His ultimate glory.

Psalm 127:1-2 reminds us that "Unless the Lord builds the house,the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."

EVERYTHING that we try to build in our lives - our careers, our families, our homes - is actually under The Lord's control much more than our own.

And that is liberating when rightly understood...

Bringing It All Together in 4 Steps


So here are your 4 steps:

      1. Choose NOT to allow anxiety about all that is out of your control in the first place
      2. Recognize that God is actually in control
      3. Remind yourself that God is continuously working all things out for your good
      4. Repeat steps 1-3


You see, once we realize that chasing control over our lives is futile from the start, we can rest.

We can rest in Jesus because He is doing all the work for us... and that work is founded in goodness.

Please note - step 4 is critical! Step 4 is absolutely necessary because continually renewing our minds on the truth is the only way to realize the transformation we seek. It is the only way to move the conscious understanding of Steps 1-3 to the subconscious where they influence our approach to life permanently.

Conclusion


We have reviewed the depth of anxiety in most of our lives. We have seen that the source of much of this anxiety is our very own work to CONTROL the circumstances of our lives.

Ultimately, we have reminded ourselves of the reality that all control is actually the Lord's. While that may sound scary and sacrificial, it is actually quite freeing because we can rest in His goodness.

Despite what may look like more circumstances about which to worry (e.g., another college course), we can embrace them, knowing He has designed all things in our lives for our goodness.

Inspire your friends, too:

 
 
 
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