Anxiety is the most common mental health concern worldwide. In the United States in 2019, 20% of people struggled with anxiety and now the numbers have risen to 30%.  Anxiety can be helpful to us when we need to study for a test, meet a deadline at work, or keep us safe when we are in true danger. However, too much anxiety is bad for our health.  (see Proverbs 12:25 and Luke 21:26)

How can we as Christians, deal with anxiety?  The young adults at my house for dinner a few weeks ago thought the only answer would be to pray more, which felt like a platitude to them.  Praying more is a good, but an incomplete answer even according to the Bible.

Be anxious for nothing… Philippians 4:6

How can we practically apply the biblical admonition to “be anxious for nothing”?  As with everything God tells us to do, He also gives us the instructions for doing it.  In Philippians 4:6-7, reading further we are given two options to help with fear:  prayer and thanksgiving.  There are also several more helpful instructions.

Six Antidotes

There are six antidotes to anxiety mentioned in the Bible:

  1. Trust — Fear at the core is a lack of trust in God. (Psalm 56:3-4)
  2. Rejoice — It is difficult to be fearful when you are rejoicing.  (Joel 2:21)
  3. Remember — Look at the ways God has taken care of you in the past. (Deuteronomy 7:18)
  4. Love — Love and fear cannot coexist.  (1 John 4:18)
  5. Sing — Music engages the both sides of the brain and sings engages it even more.  Great way to get your mind off your troubles.  (Isaiah 12:2)
  6. Pray — Pray about your anxiety.  Tell Him you are struggling to give Him your problems.  Ask for His help.  (Psalm 34:4)


How does this look practically?  Here is just one example from my life of how I have applied these concepts.  Many years ago in the months following my separation and divorce, I needed a job.  As I got dressed for yet another interview, I stopped and sat on the bed and began praying/begging and crying, “Please.  Please give me this job!”  In that moment, the still small voice told me I was not having faith.  “Ok, God I trust You.”  Then I began to remember and tell God the ways He had taken care of our family.  For the previous two years I had been picking up time at six different jobs but had no schedule.  At the end of a week, I did not know what the next week would bring.  Yet I always had enough hours, and I was always home at the times I needed to be even if I did not know I needed to be home–like when the dog suddenly died.  God had proven Himself to be a great scheduler.  I began to rejoice and thank God for His wisdom and care.  With remembering came love for the One who had taken such good care of me. (While I often sing when I am afraid, this particular time I did not.)  My prayers continued and my fears were gone.  I praised Him for how He was going to continue to lead.

Anxiety is an important topic and some people have a true anxiety disorder.  In upcoming articles, I will be addressing this topic more in depth, and discuss practical ways to manage and lessen anxiety, even anxiety disorders.