How to Quiet Fear and Worry
Something I know to be true: letting fear and worry take control is never helpful. But they are two things I struggle with regularly.
Experiencing these emotions is a pretty normal part of life – especially so during periods of uncertainty and those times where you just don’t have all the information you desire at your fingertips.
Over the past few weeks, my days have been filled with a little extra dose of fear and worry. For six weeks, I’ve been awaiting a doctors appointment where I knew the first step toward an important decision would be made.
In the days that led up to the appointment, my mind crafted one potential outcome after the other. While I knew the worry and fear were pointless, I still struggled to put a stop to it. Finally, I decided to make a list. A list of the practices I’ve found that help me to quiet the fear and worry threatening to take hold of my day.
No. 5: Change Spaces
The best way for me to quiet my mind is often by taking a walk around the neighborhood, going to a park, or even heading out to the backyard. In general, any time I can get myself into a new space, it helps quiet my mind by shifting my focus back to the present instead of the endless cycle of “what ifs” circling around in my head.
No. 4: Talk it Out
Sometimes I simply need to voice the fear and worry out loud before I can let it go. When I talk to my husband, a family member, or a friend, I feel myself releasing the once-captive thoughts. And on many occasions, I’ve found that voicing the fear and worry helps make the things that do not deserve my time or attention vividly clear.
No. 3: Journal
When I don’t want to burden my support system with my fears and worries, I grab a pen and piece of paper and write out whatever comes to mind. Getting the words out of my head and onto the page helps me release and process through them.
No. 2: Lift up a Prayer
I’ll be honest, I added this to the list because I know it is what I should do, but it’s not often my go-to solution. In my prayer life, while I find it easy to pray for others, I struggle to pray for myself – especially struggles in my day-to-day. Praying for the big stuff? No problem. But when specific fears and worries surface, I often fail to bring them to God. As my prayer life continues to grow, it’s something I’m striving to work on. I know God cares about our needs both big and small and need to do better by bringing everything to Him.
No. 1: Turn to Scripture
Sometimes all I need is a reminder of the truth. It’s in scripture that I’m reminded that God is for me, He isn’t going to abandon me, and He already has a plan. When I need help fighting fear and quieting worry, there are some specific verses I’ve found helpful, which I’ve shared below.
One realization I’ve come to is this: these verses tend to surface when I need them most. While I don’t have them all committed to memory, snippets come to mind. Sometimes the snippet is enough. Other times it prompts me to open my Bible app so I can search for and read the verse in its entirety. As parts of scripture begin to repeat over and over again in my head, I know its a nudge from God to hear the truth and believe in it.
Truth About Fear and Worry
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavily Father feeds them. Are you not of more value then they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?…Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. | Matthew 6:25-27; 6:34 ESV
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon, in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world week after these things, and your Father knowns that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. | Luke 12:25-31 ESV
What is impossible with man is possible with God. | Luke 18:27 ESV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. | John 14:27 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. | John 16:33 ESV
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. | Romans 12:12 ESV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. | Romans 15:13 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. | Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. | 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
Fear and worry can’t be entirely eliminated from our lives, but God has equipped us with tools and practices to help ease the burden. By turning to God through prayer and reminding myself of truth laid out in scripture, I’m learning to lean more into God and trust His goodness.
Free Download: Quiet Fear and Worry
Want to try these practices? Print this download to keep with you in a planner, notebook, or purse, or hang it up in a place you will see regularly.