Most of us know what it feels like to be overwhelmed with worry. Whether it’s over our future, our family, our relationships, or our health, it’s not uncommon for fear and anxiety to creep in and distract us. But when worry begins to steal our joy, we can take practical steps to combat that way of thinking and re-center our minds on God.
In Philippians 4:6-8, Paul gives us an outline to overcome worry and point us back to peace. If you’re feeling the weight of worry right now, check out 10 ways to refocus your mind when you’re dealing with worry.
1. Start with Prayer
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul reminds us to pray about everything. When you’re dealing with worry, start by taking it to God. Externalizing your worries to God is like calling on a trusted friend or mentor. You can pray out loud while driving alone, or you can journal. Give God your fears, your anxieties, and your concerns. He’s big enough to hold all of them.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
2. Fix Your Thoughts on What is True
Worry often comes from the unknown in our lives. So when you start to feel yourself worrying, concentrate instead on what you know to be true about God, about his goodness, and about his faithfulness.
3. Fix Your Thoughts on What is Honorable
Pause and consider what you’re worrying about. Is it worthy of your respect, and of your time spent thinking about it? If not, work towards not wasting your time or energy on it.
4. Fix Your Thoughts on What is Right
God is the ultimate authority in our lives, and we can trust that he is the fulfiller of justice. Are you worrying about something that you’re not the authority of?
5. Fix Your Thoughts on What is Pure
Be mindful of what you consume on a daily basis, and remember that what you’re consuming is what you’re letting into your mind, body, and heart. Your physical and mental health is directly affected by what you’re choosing to consume.
6. Fix Your Thoughts on What is Lovely
Stop and reflect on God’s creation and handiwork. Take a walk and observe nature—the beach, the mountains, the green grass and blue sky. Let yourself realize how lovely it all is, and how big God is.
7. Fix Your Thoughts on What is Admirable
Look out for opportunities to encourage others or cheer them on. Tell the people you’re closest to what you see in their character, and take time to focus on these qualities in others.
8. Fix Your Thoughts on What is Excellent
What does excellence look like for you? Take time to focus on the excellence in your life—the successes and achievements that you’re proud of. Write down those wins. Let yourself celebrate the wins that you’ve experienced.
9. Fix Your Thoughts on What is Worthy of Praise
Are the things you’re worrying about worthy of your praise and approval? Don’t spend your time praising something that isn’t worthy. Reset your mind to focus on what’s deserving of your praise. Put on some worship music and let the words sink in.
10. Put These Techniques into Practice
Whenever you face worry in the future, go back to this list and think through each technique. Allow yourself to feel and find the peace that God brings, even in an uncertain world.
When we choose to focus on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable, it’s easier to shift our mindset, grow through what we go through, and draw closer to God.
We would love to support you through whatever you may be facing right now - you can submit a prayer request through our site or app. And if you’re dealing with worry and anxiety, check out these Mental Health Resources for more practical ways to combat worry and find peace.