5 Ways to Breathe Light During Anxious Days

Am I the only one struggling with anxiety at the moment? No? I didn’t think so.

It is during times like these that I am unable to fake it until I make it. Yes, there’s a lot of unknown. It is a weird time for sure. The grocery stores feel like old western ghost towns. Everyone’s social distancing. The market is down. Worry is a constant feeling. So many what ifs. So many unknowns. Ahhhhhhhhh!

I also know that God is in control, but it seems like a daily (sometimes hourly) task to trust in Him. Trust, however, in the God of the universe should never be a task. Cleaning your room is a task. Trust in God is light work. It’s like sitting in your room, closing your eyes, and all of the sudden your room becomes clean. In the bink of an eye. Without lifitng a finger. Light work. Easy work. Trust in God is a heart binding moment. It’s a heart cleansing moment. It’s good. It’s easy. It’s healthy. It’s what God created us to do — to trust Him. And this, friends, is what it means to breathe light.

Here are 5 easy ways to breathe light—trust in God—during this anxious time.

ONE: Memorize Philippians 4:4-9.

This has become my life passage. There has been no greater Scripture that has spoken to and ministered to my heart than this passage. I encourage you to memorize this passage. Paul exhorts us to prayers of supplication and to dwell on things that are good. Memorizing this passage will allow you to speak confidently and boldly in times of anxiety.

TWO: Get outside to God’s creation.

Sometimes there is no better medicine for an anxious heart than to get outside and into nature. It is cleansing. It resets you. It allows you to breathe (again, trust in God). Sometimes “seeing creation” reminds us to “trust the Creator.”

THREE: Exercise, Execerise, Exercise.

When you begin to worry, ask yourself when was the last time you exercised. This is very important. Exercise is a worry crushing, endorphin releasing, and confidence boosting high. This is often my first question to myself when I begin to feel worry creep in. Have I exercised lately? My “go to” lately has been a set of stairs in my neighborhood in Georgetown called the Exorcist Steps. Ironic, huh? These stairs are named after the movie The Exorcist (which was filmed in Georgetown), but I go there to exorcise my anxiety through… you guessed it… exercise (yeah, weird dad joke). And here’s the best part—I don’t need to prepare. I don’t need to worry about “gym germs.” I just throw on my shoes, jog .75 miles over to the steps as a warm up, and then crush the stairs a few times, then jog home. It’s different for everyone, but I am usually worry free for about 12-hours after a good “exorcise.”

FOUR: Meditate.

Here’s the point: GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. Whenever I find myself in worry mode, I can almost always point to my social media use. It’s a weird thing. It’s almost always an accurate indicator of my heart. Take a social media fast during this time. Re-orient your heart under goodness, truth, and beauty. Pause and meditate on the gospel. Meditate on Christ’s finished work for you. Meditate on Psalm 103, Psalm 116, Psalm 121, Psalm 27, or Psalm 34.

FIVE: Name your worry and speak truth to your heart.

Naming your worry is good. It puts it right out in front of you, because then you can see it. And when you can see it, you can begin attacking it with gospel truth bombs. One of my favorite gospel bombs to my heart is 1 Peter 5:7 — cast your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. I love this imagery. I often think of a fishermen casting his net into the see with vigor, ready and confident to catch many fish. In the same way, when we cast our anxieties onto the Lord, we are doing so with trust in one hand and confidence in the other hand. Trust that He is still in control. And confidence that He is still making all things right.

In fact, the grave is still empty after all. Christ is still our great anxiety slayer.

Let’s run to Him. Let’s trust in Him. Let’s breathe…. light.

Published by Greg Gibson

Greg is a husband, dad, church planter, and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and Lead Pastor of Veritas City Church in Washington, DC. He resides in Georgetown with his wife, Grace, and two children.