February 03, 2021

Peace Over Anxiety by Lyndsey Vigil

Let’s talk about putting peace over anxiety!  I’ve been actively working on putting peace over anxiety in my life for about 4 years now. God has worked through counselors, Doctors, Small Groups, friends, and family to introduce me to new practices and new thinking, and I want to share some of those practices with you today. If you attend Church on the Move in Tulsa, you might remember my story.
Listen to me tell my story at Church on the Move Tulsa.

Here are 5 practices for putting peace over anxiety:

1. Godly Friends 

It’s crazy how much truth there is to “don’t do it alone.” The first step in putting peace over anxiety in my life was surrounding myself with good, Godly people who listened to me and shared honest feedback. You need people who call out your faulty thinking and share different perspectives with you.

2. Cutting Out Coffee 

 The most recent change I’ve made is cutting out coffee! You can laugh at me, but this was a pretty big step for me. (I really loved coffee). I switched to tea—London Fogs are my favorite! The switch helps keep your mood regulated throughout the day. I really had no idea how much coffee was negatively affecting me. I’d highly recommend cutting it out!

3. Real Jesus Small Group

I can point to two HUGE steps toward peace in my life that happened in my Real Jesus Small Group.

• At the end of the curriculum, you write your real Jesus journey. When writing mine, I realized where some of my anxiety triggers came from.

• About midway through the group, you’re supposed to go to coffee with someone and tell them your struggles. I went with a young lady I barely knew and shared some of my deepest struggles. She did the same.

In that conversation, I felt totally liberated and ready to move forward. (P.S., I still go to coffee with that young lady once a week.)  Find a group at Church on the Move by searching “Real Jesus” on the finder.

4. Breathing

This one is super practical. A lot of people who struggle with anxiety live in FIGHT/FLIGHT mode, and one of the best ways to calm your brain is BREATHING.

 For 3-5 minutes, 3 times a day:

Breathe in for 4 counts
Hold for 2 counts
Breathe out for 6 counts

*Focus on counting; as random worries enter your mind, acknowledge them and go back to counting.

5. Prayer & Journaling

When I feel down or overwhelmed, I read and pray through Phil. 4v4-9, and add a little, “God help me to ____” in front of each verse.

 “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.”
— Philippians 4v9

After some prayer, I like to journal with these prompts from verse 9:

1) What have you learned?
 2) What have you received?
3) What have you heard and seen?

When I started this journey 4-years ago, I had no idea how God would use little, seemingly useless steps of obedience to bring peace to my life. These practices are almost involuntary for me because God introduced them to me slllllloooooowwwwwly, and through them, He has reshaped the way I think.

I hope these practices are beneficial to you and help you begin to put peace over anxiety in your life.

– Lyndsey Vigil

Read more about Anxiety: What to do when you don’t know what to do.


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