“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” (Psalm 94:19).
Stress and anxiety can come in many forms and sometimes you never know what could trigger it, leaving us always vulnerable to its trap. Jesus experienced his own anxiety and fear first hand when he came to us in human form. Because of Jesus’ experiences, he knows how anxiety ridden some of our difficult life experiences can be. Jesus wanted us to rest in the assurance that he is in control and will carry our struggles and hardships for us. He knew we could not carry the pain and hardship of life experiences alone. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Stress and anxiety happens to everyone, and it’s not a one size fits all experience. But, there are a few faith-based approaches to try when experiencing stress that can hinder it from escalating. In order to find these comforts, it is vital to get in the habit of seeking Jesus when we are feeling anxious. Stress can worsen if we do not immerse ourselves in approaches that soothe our souls rather than continue to fuel the fire of anxiety. Below are a 3 practices to help soothe you during stressful moments.
Immerse Yourself in Bible Verses and Devotionals Related to Stress
Throughout the Covid pandemic, I’ve experienced many moments of stress. I know I am not alone in these feelings as these times have been painful and challenging for everyone. One of my favorite devotionals that has helped me triumph over my stress and anxiety is Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I grab my Jesus Calling book and ask God to speak to me through the book’s prayers and scripture references. Every time I ask, I open up to the perfect reading that reassures me that the Lord is soothing me during my most vulnerable times. The Jesus Calling book reminds me that Jesus is bearing the weight that was never meant for any of us to carry. He gently asks us to rest in his presence so he can comfort our weary mind, body, and soul. He asks us to trust in him and have no fear of the future. There is something about this book that brings me immediate comfort when I read it, no matter how stressful the situation is. Sarah Young writes her devotionals as though Jesus is speaking directly to us. Her devotionals are powerful, soothing, and life changing. I highly recommend purchasing this book to help bring you peace in times of struggle. This has saved me from spiraling down an anxiety ridden path many times. To purchase Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, click the link below.
Present Your Stress to Jesus
Many times when dealing with stress and anxiety we will confide in those closest to us, making them our impromptu psychologists. But just as often, the greatest struggles we are battling with, we hold internally. Maybe we don’t share our struggles because we’re too embarrassed, scared, or fearful of judgement if we were to express these burdens out loud to our loved ones. If we leave these feelings to fester inside with no outlet, you can be sure they will multiply and leave you in a tailspin. But there is always One who is ready to listen. He’s there to hear us in our most trying times, without casting judgement or reaction. He’s simply there for us to offload our deepest and most painful stressors. “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). If we speak, pray, and listen to Jesus about what’s causing us distress, he will show us the way forward. He will soothe and comfort us. He will help us. But first, we need to ask him to give us help and guidance. To speak to Jesus, you may try writing him a letter in your prayer journal. You may cry out to him through tears and pain. Perhaps you could go speak to him in the quiet space of your local church. There is no perfect way to ask God to give you comfort. But there is no better way to find comfort and peace than laying our hearts out to God and asking him to guide us through stressful times.
Take a Moment for Self-Love
After praying to God about your anxieties and stresses, remember to be kind to yourself and invest in some self-love. It’s more than okay to put everyone and everything on hold for it bit. You can always come back to your to do list. There are many different strategies for self-love to help battle stress. For example, tying up those laces and heading out in the great outdoors is a perfect way to calm your thoughts. Unplug for the evening and give yourself a break from social media, emails, and work. Take a hot bubble bath with a good book. Or get an abundant night’s sleep to wake up the next morning feeling refreshed. Taking time to take care of yourself, especially when you are feeling stress and anxiety, is crucial to getting back to a harmonious state of mind.
Helping yourself during moments of stress and anxiety can look different for everyone. But one infallible way to help feel comfort is allowing Jesus to infuse his love through you during times of struggle. So next time you feel the weight on your shoulders of anxiousness and stress, try reading a Christian devotional like, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, ask God to carry your burdens through prayer and petition, and invest some time for self-love, while putting your never-ending to-do list on hold. I hope these tips help lift anxiety and stress, and in return, infuse comfort into your being.
Check out my journal prompt to identify your personal stress triggers.
I loved this collection of scripture specifically for times of anxiety and stress. Click below to read them.
Hope these tips help to tackle moments of stress!