“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon
Anxiety disorder is known to be one of the most common mental health problems affecting people in the world today. The degree to which one is affected vary from one person to another.
While it is true that occasional anxiety is a normal emotion in life such as when you are about to take a test or go in for an interview, many who struggle with anxiety experience frequent panic attacks, phobias, constant worry and stress, nervousness and other anxious or panicky feelings that continually linger on without any specific cause.
Other classifications of anxiety are: generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I must admit that for years I suffered with anxiety. It was a very dark moment in my life back then. Not only did I suffer from anxiety, I suffered from depression as well.
“I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and I’ve found that people tend to think I’m not ‘normal’ and it’s just so annoying. I’m still a normal person, I just find things difficult.” – Beth
It was an unusual combination of mental health problems both of which I believed stemmed from my rocky childhood environment, physical and emotional abuse, broken relationships mainly due to infidelity and finally a very traumatic divorce from my husband of 22 years. Thankfully though, God has healed me and my season of anxiety and depression is over.
What I recall from my own experience over those years is that anxiety is very debilitating and it leaves you feeling weak and feeble. It is a condition that drains your energy.
Other ways in which anxiety affects people are:
- it lowers productivity
- it leaves you feeling less than and sometimes worthless
- it diverts your mind/attention and so you are unable to learn new things
- you lose the ability to focus
- you lose the ability to trust
- you give weight to [negative] things in your relationship or to problems that don’t even ‘exist’
- constantly overreacting to situations
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- heart palpitations
- trembling, especially he extremities
- churning of the stomach
- tension in the muscles
- nervousness, always fidgety
- get tired very easily
- isolating yourself from others and distancing yourself from God
Now before I share with you some Psalms that I consider to be powerful antidotes for anxiety, let us take a closer look at anxiety and the known causes of it.
According to Medical News Today (MNT), “anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying.” They further added that “these disorders affect the way we feel and behave and they can manifest real physical symptoms.”
Dictionary meaning states anxiety as “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune; or a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.”
Causes of Anxiety
Research has shown that anxiety is multi-causal. It can be attributed to one or a combination of the following: environmental factors, heredity or genetics, substance abuse, brain chemistry/make-up, and medical factors. The most commonly known trigger is stress in our lives.
Anxiety is commonly the result of an external force but some experts believe that people who suffer from anxiety make themselves anxious with their own words that are negative, leaving them to be always thinking about or looking out for the worse thing to happen.
No Matter How Anxious We Get In Any Situation, God Is With Us
“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
Whatever experiences we go through in life, God’s intention for allowing them in the first place is to strengthen and build our character. I also want you to know that no matter how much anxiety a situation produces, the idea is for us to draw closer to God who is always with us and who promise never to leave us nor forsake us. So if you or someone you know suffer from anxiety, know that you are not alone.
Do I believe that standard methods such as counselling and medicines to treat anxiety still work? Certainly. But God has taught me a lot on my journey and proved His word over and over again.
Yes there are times that I do get overwhelmed and tend to become fearful and anxious. But assuredly, it is those times when I can’t find the words to pray that I can rely on the power of God’s word through the Psalms. They are chuck full of wisdom. I find them to be extremely helpful and the best antidote to anxiety.
Repeat them out aloud. Memorize them and allow this infusion of God’s word to give you hope, peace, encouragement, strength and much needed relief from anxiety and depression.
Here are 7 helpful and effective Psalms. May you find comfort in them:
(1) When you are afraid, you feel like everyone is against you or you don’t know the next move to make to get you out of your difficulties, Psalm 27:1-3 is the one to the rescue
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.” (New Living Translation, NLT)
(2) This next Psalm 34 [with a focus on verses 17 -20]is one for when you are feeling let down, your heart and spirit feels broken or you are left disappointed. It is proof that God.
“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; for he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!” (New Living Translation, NLT)
(3) Psalm 23:4-5 When you are having a valley experience – one of the places in life where you feel like everything is caving in on you or your back is up against the wall. It seems like you are drowning in your own tears.
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”
(4) Psalm 32:7
“You are my hiding place; you, Lord, protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance.” (Amplified Bible AMP)
(5) Psalm 91 [focus on verses 2-4] serves as a constant reminder of God’s comfort, protection and the safest dwelling place for us here on earth. In Him we find rest from our fears, worry and anxiety. It is His faithfulness that will be your shield.
“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you [me] from the fowler’s snares and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you [me] with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (New International Version NIV)
(6) Psalm 55:22 – Too many times when we have difficulties in our lives we try to figure things out ourselves which only complicate matters all the more. This Psalm is encouragement for you to release all your cares and anxieties to the Lord. Hold nothing back from Him
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” (New Living Translation NLT)
(7) Psalm 94:19
“When my anxious inner thoughts become overwhelming, [are many, too much for me to handle, or doubts fill my mind] your comfort encourages me.[your soothing touch make me happy, gave me renewed hope and cheer]” (International Standard Version ISV)
to be continued..
It is my hope that you have been blessed by these Psalms. If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety or depression do not suffer in silence. Reach out and speak to someone. Get help!
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featured photo by: la_bele