Conversations at our house tend to follow a pattern. We make a plan, and my husband assumes that all will be well. That’s my cue to begin thinking about the details and coming up with at least five things that could (and probably will) go wrong. I’ve been honing my catastrophizing skills for over a half-century now, so I’m pretty good at it. (Not to brag…) However, I’m learning to practice a mental reset that is both biblical and practical.
Anxiety preaches a false gospel, telling you everything depends on you, that you need to practice worst-case-scenario planning. Understand this: things can go wrong. But they can also go right! And even when they do go wrong, if we believe in a sovereign and benevolent Presence behind every single circumstance in our life, it’s time to look for the goodness in the unexpected. It’s time to start looking for the mental reset button.
Even when things go wrong, our belief in a sovereign and benevolent Presence behind every circumstance sends us looking for the mental reset button: “Set your mind on things above…”Tweet
The Mental Reset
As a grace-dependent woman, I’m not a proponent of Operation Bootstrap, and neither was the Apostle Paul (See his words affirming, “I am what I am by the grace of God” in 1 Corinthians 15:10.) Even so, he directs his friends in Colossae to take a firm hand with their thought life:
Set your mind on things above…Colossians 3:2
His argument is pretty strong, based as it is in our understanding that the resurrection changes everything. When Jesus rose from the dead, the first thing he did was to go into the store windows of life and change all the price tags. Suddenly “things above,” spiritual things, life with God, the glory of God are utterly valuable and desirable.
The calm, orderly, predictable, comfy life I would normally see as the highest good when I am my own boss and belong to myself is inconsistent with a mindset that values pesky people, inconvenient interruptions, unplanned and unforeseen circumstances, and change of any kind. A change in mindset frees me to value what God values.
Hit the Mental Reset Button
If anxiety has come home to roost at your place, remember Christ, “seated at the right hand of God,” as your mental reset button. That may mean carrying 3×5 cards with important scripture passages in your pocket or bag. It may be better to just go ahead and memorize Colossians 3:1-3 or Isaiah 26:3, and then ask God to help the Word to come alive in your heart.
Don’t worry about how long it takes you to memorize or even whether you’re doing it perfectly. The process itself is healing and strengthening, for as you run the sacred text through the tangled synapses of your anxious brain, truth will have an untangling effect.
Anxiety is spiritual warfare, and we have to fight it on every front, body, soul, and spirit. Rehearse true things about God, and if you’ve never heard the phrase “sword of the Spirit,” read up on the armor of God in Ephesians 6 as solid evidence that God knows we will struggle with all kinds of temptations and fears and has already made a way to protect us.
Truth is a powerful weapon and a gift from God!
Holding you in the light,
P.S. What Scripture verses can you recommend to serve as a mental reset button for reading friends here?
The calm, predictable life I long for is inconsistent with a mindset that values pesky people, interruptions, unplanned and unforeseen circumstances, and inconvenience of any kind. A change in mindset frees me to value what God values.Tweet
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40 thoughts on “How to Fight Fear and Anxiety by Hitting Your Mental Reset Button”
Why oh why do we default to doom & gloom instead of joy & light. 😞
My fave verse is 2 Timothy 17 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and of a sound mind. This always helps when I am anxious.
Every day I try to think in my mind look for the good and joy it is always around us and there is always an ending to
bad things on God’s timing my verse on my 3×5 card in my purse is Deuteronomy 31:8. Which helped me to go
through a terrible divorce after being married for 43 years.
You are so right, Michele: “A change in mindset frees me to value what God values.” And with that change of mindset we discover the joy and peace God so desires to give us. I’m still learning to hit the reset button, sometimes multiple times per day! But it is well worth the effort.
Yes, I have always been a worrier and sometimes ruin things by my negativity. However, have been doing so much better when I repeat to myself that Worry solves nothing and realize who is in control. Great reminder this morning. Thanks.
This is a powerful “on time” post. The seasons we have been living in have provided so many opportunities for anxiety, fear, and a downward tug on our thoughts! The suggestion about carrying scripture verses with you is a great one! I used that in my own life early on when I was walking through challenges of accepting God’s love for me.
This post blessed me personally because I have been tempted toward these things more than usual around health issues that has plagued my husband, our son’s cancer diagnosis, and then a sense of anxiety over my own health if anything unusual seemed to be happening. God has been ever present to help me when the enemy would have sought to undo me!
(Always love seeing your book list. I will forever recall the very best book club read through Jayber Crow with you💕)
Thank you for this, Michele. I will be reminding myself to “set my mind on things above” this week.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
I will be thinking about my mental reset verse…
Thank you for sharing this blessed message. I’m a worrier but do find myself intentionally pausing to reset. Blessings.
Just what I needed to prod me out of my stagnation! There are so many sentences I love in this – God changing the prices in the store windows… truth’s untangling affect – but this – it just went straight to my heart: “And even when they do go wrong, if we believe in a sovereign and benevolent Presence behind every single circumstance in our life, it’s time to look for the goodness in the unexpected.” This truth makes every challenge a victory! Thank you for the bolster to my spirit today, Michele! ~ Shalom, Maryleigh
Oh, wow, do I ever struggle to live this. I’ve got “unexpected” on my “Bad List” so fast that there’s a lot of undoing and untangling that needs to happen in my head in order to see the truth.
I really need to have my words mirrored back to me, Maryleigh! So thanks for the visit.
Awesome and thank you for sharing your lin with us at our Senior Salon linkup ending this Saturday, October 31.
I pinned this on our Senior Salon InLinkz Linkup Shares board and also share it on Twitter @EsmeSalon with #SeniorSalonPitStop
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Oh Michele… “the calm consistent life I long for…” is inconsistent with God’s values at times. Yes indeed, your words hit the spot today. Just what was needed for me this morning as we are navigating outside our normal routines and in felt need of that calm consistency that is so elusive at times. Needing perfect peace without the steadiness of my normal routines this week. Thank you for your good words shared and the intro that made me smile as I saw myself reflected clearly!
Don’t know the details, Linda, but know that I’m upholding you in prayer as you navigate without a map…
You had me laughing in the first few paragraphs. My husband is the one who is predicting all the outcomes in my family, and I am the one crashing on ahead with a smile on my face. I guess we make a good team. Because often I talk him down from the heights of worry. If we believe God, that all can be used for his glory and that we are right where we need to be, than we can look for the good and learn from where we are and not worry so much. It is a mental battle. And one we need to engage in until our brain stops worrying about this present life.
Funny how our roles are reversed, but I already had you pegged as an optimist!
My husband and I were just having a funny little discussion this weekend about the difference in how most men plan versus most women. It seems like I always have back up plans and contingencies in place while he rarely does…of course he goes with the flow much better and has less anxiety overall as well so I’m sure that’s part of it!
Sounds to me as if you are the master planner of the contingencies! My husband is also a “go with the flow” guy, and I guess we balance each other, as I’m sure you and your guy do!
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I also seem to have this ability to think of all the ways things could go wrong. I’m trying to remind myself that that’s such a waste. If nothing goes wrong, I’ve wasted that energy. If something does go wrong, I’ve doubled the energy and attention it should have by worrying about it. I also often have to remind myself that a calm, orderly, predictable, comfy life may not be God’s highest and best for me, though it’s my idea of best. In fact, I don’t know if a single Bible character could describe his or her life that way.
One of my reset verses is Romans 8:28. It’s too bad we’ve let it become cliche. The problem with a cliche is not the cliche, because it’s still true–it’s with us for getting too used to a truth without hearing it any more. The fact that God can turn something around that I would think of as bad to work something good in my life helps me trust that He allows bad and good for His own reasons.
So glad you shared that verse. It’s still true, even if some people use it as a magic formula and misunderstand its intent.
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There are days and seasons when it feels like I am hitting that reset button constantly! Taking every thought captive, I suppose. Thank you for a timely word, once again.
Nothing wrong with starting over whenever you need to!
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Thank you, Michele. I’m a very talented catastrophizer also so your idea of a reset button when I’m anxious is helpful. And I like your encouragement that the process of memorizing is refreshing and strengthening. I tend to be a perfectionist in all things, and this was quite freeing!
Winter is on our doorstep here, as I imagine it is in Maine also! Pull out the fleece jackets, drag out the snowblower, and stoke up the wood stoves!!
We’ve got a wood fire going tonight. I tend to think of November as Pre-Winter, so fall is pretty short lived, especially after a big wind-rain storm that blew all the pretty leaves off the trees!
How true, Michele! And thank you for the great reminder.
As a glass-half-empty person. I find your idea of a reset button very helpful.
I have to keep that in mind as well, Veronica! Thanks for reading!
I have to be careful I don’t rain on my boss or my husband’s parade when they come up with new ideas. I guess I may have a split personality because I can see smooth sailing when it’s my own ideas!
For anxiety, I rely on Philippians 4:8 which also emphasizes focusing on good things like Colossians 3:2 does. As Jennie Allen talks about in her book, “Get Out of Your Head,” you get to choose what you think about.
Oh, that’s so funny about your “split personality!” And you’re so right–we do get to choose!
Thank you for this!
Ridge Haven Homestead
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I appreciate you!
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Ahhh I think I do the same thing as you Michele… always planning for what might go wrong (especially for big trips out), and come up with a solution to fix things before it’s even happened! I used to think it was a mum thing, but maybe not! As always, it’s so lovely having you on #mischiefandmemories x
I wonder if being a mum makes it more pronounced? We do seem to be the detail wranglers of the family…
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I am a realist and plan for the worst but hope for the best! I have been deaing with significant anxiety and panic attacks recently and my faith has been something I can turn to for comfort. Thanks for linking up with #MischiefandMemories
A realist! That’s such a great way of framing it!
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I love the way you’ve presented this timeless advice, Michele! Memorizing Colossians 3:1-17 has had a profound effect on my life. . . I need to revisit those verses!
Have you listened to the “Things Above” podcast with James Bryan Smith? One of my favorites.
Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week. . . honestly, I have restrain myself from featuring you every week! Thank you for sharing your gift.
I need to revisit Colossians 3, too.
YES! I love Things Above and listen to it regularly!
I really appreciate your sharing my work.
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