How to Overcome Anxiety Before It Overtakes You!

John ThurmanBy John Thurman7 Minutes

Anxiety Is Rampant

Over the past couple of years, most Americans have reported high stress due to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and runaway inflation.

In today’s article, “How to Overcome Anxiety Before It Overtakes You,” I will give you some free tools you can use to keep from feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.

According to the March 1-3, Harris Poll, the annual “Stress in America” survey found that more American adults rated inflation and the Russia-Ukraine situation as major stressors than any other issue in the poll’s entire 15-year history.[i]

American adults reported feeling emotionally overwhelmed and fatigued, with 87% agreeing it “feels like there has been a constant stream of crises without a break for the past two years.”[ii]

May I ask you a quick question? How are you doing?

While it is normal to experience stress in our day-to-day living, it is essential to understand the two types of stress.

The first type of stress is eustress, which is motivating stress that propels you forward.

The dangerous type of stress is called distress. That stress keeps you up at night and causes GI issues and other physical maladies.

Today, I will reveal some free tips, tools, and practices you can use to lower your stress level, calm your mind, and give you hope.

Let’s take a look at how to overcome anxiety before it overtakes you.

What Is the Antidote?

Gratitude is the thankful appreciation of things received, whether tangible or intangible. It helps you and me connect with something outside ourselves, often transcendent and more extensive than we are. Being grateful for people and other blessings makes me more content and help me rewire my brain to be more optimistic.

Expressing gratitude is probably the most effective way to push fear, anxiety, and sadness out of your mind and replace it with good things.

Here are four benefits of actively expressing gratitude.

Here are the four benefits of actively expressing gratitude

  1. Thankfulness will boost your immune system, helping your body fight off infection.
  2. Gratitude significantly lowers your risk of causing or amplifying mental health issues.
  3. A thankful attitude strengthens you when you are under stress.
  4. Thankfulness develops resilience and helps you flourish when others fail.

So, what are some gratefulness exercises you can begin today to build your resilience, improve your health, and lower your stress?

Here are five ways you can use gratitude as a powerful stress buster.

Jot Down Your Joys

In our digital age, many of us have allowed penmanship to go the way of the Dodo bird. But unfortunately, by doing that, we could lose one of the best ways to manage our emotions and keep ourselves centered.

Ready? Begin with a list.

  • One place that is safe and relaxes you
  • One thing that is going well in your life/family
  • Three things that bring you joy and pleasure
  • Three things you are looking forward to
  • Two people who you love and who love you

Make Your Mealtimes More Mindful

When was the last time you took a moment to observe the bounty on your table? For centuries grace before meals has been a ritualized way of pausing and expressing gratitude for the meal placed before us.

This is one I grew up with: Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

And the standby children’s classic: God is great, God is good, Let us thank him for our food; By his hand, we are being fed, Give us Lord our daily bread. Amen.

British author and lay theologian G.K. Chesterton said it best. “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in ink.”

Count Blessings Instead of Sheep

We all know that counting our blessings instead of sheep sounds incredible. However, research really supports that expressing gratitude before going to bed ensures more restful sleep.

Stop and Savor

One of our most accessible tools, as we continue looking at ways to regain our vision and overcome depression, is to savor pleasant memories, past answers to prayer, a meaningful Scripture verse, and positive, meaningful words spoken to you. When we purposefully reflect on these good, positive things, our brains begin to move toward health.

Here is an ancient piece of Scripture that is as current as today’s news. Take a moment to savor it.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:6 NLT).

Share Gratitude

While you are learning to increase your sense of gratitude, I promise you, it will also make others feel better. Individuals who practice gratitude are:

  • More generous and helpful
  • More likely to offer emotional support to others
  • More likely to share their wealth and resources with others
  • More willing to forgive others

Lord knows, if ever there was a time when we needed these traits, it is now.

Call to Action

Honesty, if you feel stuck and a little overwhelmed and are thinking about getting some help, call me at 505-343-2011 or email me for a brief consultation. I am a Work-Life Consultant and therapist and happy to connect.

[i], Accessed June 10, 2022

[ii], Accessed June 10, 2022