Anxiety: Self-Assessment & Action Steps

AnxietySelfAssessmentActionSteps Article Image

By Danny Saavedra


Self-Assessment

If you’re experiencing anxiety, here are a few questions you can ask yourself that may help you understand what your feeling along with some steps you may need to take:

  1. In what situations do you find yourself feeling afraid or anxious?
     
  2. How long and to what extent has your anxiety been occurring?
     
  3. What situation/object/person causes you the most distress?
     
  4. Do you find there are times when you are more anxious than others? If so, when? What is going on around you in those moments? Who are you with? Where are you?
     
  5. Of the things that cause you anxiety, outside of the moment, which seem reasonable and which seem more unreasonable? In hindsight, which ones seem like things you can handle and overcome and which seem completely out of your depth and ability to handle?
     
  6. When do the feelings of anxiety go away? Are there things that help mitigate or lessen the waves that hit you?
     
  7. How have you tried to work through your anxiety?

When you feel the waves of anxiety—or depression or even emotional numbness—bearing down and crashing over you, here are some things you can do. (Please remember, if at any point your anxiety is getting the best of you, and you feel like it’s devastating your daily life for weeks at a time, disabling you from functioning normally, please seek biblical counseling—there is nothing sinful about it!)


Actions Steps

Both fear and faith sail into the harbor of your mind, but only faith should be allowed to anchor.

Here are a few things that may help anchor you in your faith and not fear, in the Almighty and not in anxiety.

  1. Pray. Pray before you feel it (prepping for the battles), pray when you feel it, and pray when you’ve gotten through it. Pray each day for the Lord to supply you with His peace by His Spirit. Pray, pray, pray. And when you feel you’ve prayed enough, pray more. Remember, the God of the universe is inclining His ear to hear from you—He wants to sit with you, hear from you, be with you.
     
  2. Ask for Prayer. Reach out to your community, your friends, your loved ones who are believers, and to your church leaders to pray with you and for you. If you don’t have a church you attend, reach out to a church or connect with us! Intercession is powerful! We’re told in James 5:16 (NKJV), “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
     
  3. Read the Bible to Your Anxiety. Sounds like a weird thing to say, right? But the truth is fear and anxiety are most effectively defused, lessened, and dealt with by knowledge. The more you can defuse the threat and the thoughts of anxiety by diffusing the gospel of our salvation—the good news of who Jesus is, how much He loves us, and what He’s done for us—the more effectively you can manage fear and anxiety as it threatens to make anchor in the harbor of your mind.

    You see, Jesus assumes that truth—reasons, arguments, facts—affects and influences the emotions. Anxiety is an emotion. It’s not a decision. We don’t decide to get anxious; anxiety happens to us. That’s why Jesus attacks anxiety in Matthew 6 with truth, facts, promises, and reasons. Therefore, He must believe that His Word given to our souls will have an emotional, even physical, effect. There are dozens and dozens of commands to emotions in the Bible and along with them are truths to bring about what is commanded.

    2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Reading the Bible to your anxiety, speaking the truth of God over the lies that seek to consume and disable you, can reset your mind. It will not be easy or overnight; this practice takes intentionality, dedication, and patience. But over time, it will recalibrate your thought processes as you develop this life-changing behavior of rooting out lies by rooting yourself in truth.
     

  4. Watch for Triggers. Try making a list. Every time you feel anxious, write down what’s happening around you (where you are, what’s been said to you and how it’s been said, who you’re with, what the weather is like, etc.). The more you can identify your triggers, the more you can prepare for them and the more effectively you can identify steps to lessen the effects.
     
  5. Be Patient. Be patient with yourself. In Philippians 1:6 (ESV), the apostle Paul says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” This is a process. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you don’t give up! God is going to do the work in you; He’s going to fight the battle! Don’t lose heart. Even if you experience a setback, press on as Paul later says in Philippians 3!
     
  6. Develop Relationships. Surround yourself with a loving, supportive community of believers. Seek out godly friendships. If you need help with this, contact us and we can help you find a great group or volunteer team that you can do life with and grow in your relationship with the Lord alongside. 
     
  7. Focus on the Lord: This is the most important one of all! One of the best things you can do in times of anxiety is shift your focus from fear, stress, and anxiety to the character, nature, heart, mind, and works of God. Move your focus from the exertion of mental and emotional energy that is making you anxious, or from your anxiety itself (which is often a cause for more anxiety!). Hebrews 12:2 (BSB) says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Many know that part of Hebrews 12, but look at what follows in verse 3 (emphasis added): “Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

    God wants you to trust in Him, to keep your eyes on Him, to keep your focus fixed on Him. Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” To have peace, my dear friends, we must intentionally and relentlessly keep our heart, mind, and thoughts on the God of our salvation.

Friends, please know that Calvary truly and deeply cares about you. We want you to experience a thriving, vibrant, healthy relationship with the Lord, with others, and to live the abundant and purpose-filled life Jesus came to give you. To get connected to our church or to get info on our biblical counseling, call 954-977-9673.

If you need to pray with someone, our prayer line is currently open during all our live services and seven days a week from 8am–8pm. We’d love to pray with you! Call us at 954-556-4777.

For a full read on anxiety and faith, click here.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.