During these times of uncertainty it is easy to get anxious and stressed about future outcomes and way forward. Many are losing their means of livelihood and homes, not to mention the loss of loved ones.
‘Every dark cloud has a silver lining’.
Remember these words; ‘Every dark cloud has a silver lining’. This means no matter how bad the storms may appear, one should never feel hopeless because difficult times always precede better times if you persevere.
Keeping HOPE alive is the first step to overcoming anxiety and stress; Hope focuses on the future and not your present negative circumstance. Hope is compatible to faith, because faith nurtures hope and peace which always yield a good outcome. On the contrary, fear is incompatible to faith because it nurtures anxiety, stress and hopelessness.
3 ways to overcome anxiety and stress;
- Resist thoughts of fear and worry; Stress and anxiety stem from fear or worry. Oftentimes, worry starts when one focuses on a negative circumstance or information. When you do not resist this negative emotions and start to meditate on those sad depressing thoughts instead of more positive uplifting thoughts of hope and faith. The negative thought mode will grip your heart and suffocate the positive – This unresisting attitude is similar to abandoning your house or car to dirt or weed, instead of resisting this invasion by cleaning out your space to restore beauty and life to your space. ‘Brethren, whatsoever things are pure, lovely and of good report, think of these things’ (Philippians 4:8). Negative thoughts and emotion are like dirt or weed in your mind and could have dire consequences. You must learn to take control of your thoughts.
- Spend less time soaking up information that can stir up feelings of anxiety and stress; Instead spend more time listening to (or reading) more positive news or information. What (or who) you lend your ears to, will influence your thoughts, which in turn affect the course of your life. “Guard your thoughts with all diligence, out of it are the issues of your life” (Proverbs 4:23). Your life outcomes and issues are as direct results of your thoughts and actions.
- Most importantly, pray about whatever concerns you have; This should actually be the first thing you do because when the negative emotions grip, it is usually difficult to focus on anything else. You often need divine intervention, something or someone bigger than yourself to get you out of it and restore your peace. This is what prayer does for you – You must trust that God is able to use anything or anyone to help you (or reveal to you what do), when you humble yourself to pray (Even the fact that you are reading this blog could be an answer to prayer) . As the scriptures states; “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, bring your request to God and He will grant you peace” (Philippians 4:6 & 7).
God can restore your peace in a heart beat, when you genuinely pray – Restoring your peace by prayer and keeping a positive attitude of hope is the antidote that gets you from the dark clouds of anxiety and fear, through to the silver lining of sound mind, power and victory.
‘God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of sound mind’ 2 Timothy 1:7