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As a Christian with a long history of anxiety and panic disorder, affirmations have long felt like a weird New Age type thing that I was told to stay away from. To some extent, I could see why my childhood pastor would say that, but as an adult I’ve learned more about affirmations. I’ve come to understand that affirmations are not a tool to pump up your own ego, but to retrain your brain.
For example, affirmations are used as a method of encouragement for many religions, including Christianity. They are not only effective in managing anxiety in a psychological perspective, but are effective from a Biblical perspective as well.
What makes affirmations effective in managing anxiety?
Affirmations are an effective way of managing anxiety because you are reteaching your brain how to speak about anxious situations. When we encounter an anxious situation, we have a quick trigger response we have in our brain, even if we don’t notice it. For example, if your child crying typically triggers anxiety in you, you may have a quick pattern of thought that pops up in your head. Most of the time, that quick thought makes us feel more anxious or prolongs the fearful feelings. Affirmations are a practice that help us rewire those thought patterns. When we speak an affirmation instead of our quick anxious thoughts over us, we are giving our brains a new way of processing the anxiety.
Think of affirmations as a kind of like those little speed bumps on the shoulder of a busy highway. When your mind begins to feel out of control with anxiety, an affirmation can feel a lot like those speed bumps, directing you back to the road when your mind wants to go off the rails.
Why Should Christians Not Be Afraid Of Affirmations?
What some Christians take offense to when it comes to affirmations is that many popular affirmations sound prideful. For example, a typical Christian may have a problem with looking in the mirror and saying “I am strong,” or “I have the power to overcome anything.” That is because many Christians, including myself, have the foundational belief that our strength and power doesn’t come from us, but from the Lord. This belief doesn’t necessarily mean we should throw out the practice of affirmations completely. But that we get the ability to use affirmations in a glorifying, uplifting way to the Lord.
What makes affirmations from a Christian perspective differ from others is who we are crediting for the positive things in our life. As Christians, we have the understanding that nothing good in our lives comes from our own power. A cornerstone of Christian theology is that all good things come from God, not ourselves. So in writing these affirmations, I made it a point to credit the Lord over my own will. Affirmations can absolutely be used not only to encourage and strengthen yourself, but to glorify God as well.
Biblical Affirmations For Overcoming Anxiety
Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Affirmation: My hope is in the Lord. He strengthens me when I am weak.
Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Affirmation: I will not be stressed, because the Lord is with me. He gives me the strength to endure.
Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Affirmation: I am strong and courageous, because the Lord is always with me.
Psalm 94:19 – “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
Affirmation: I am full of joy, because the Lord comforts my anxiety.
Romans 8:38-39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Affirmation: The Lord is always with me.
Proverbs 12:25 – “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
Affirmation: When I am anxious, I will speak kindly to myself, because the Lord speaks kindly to me.
Jeremiah 17:7 – “Happy are those who trust in the Lord, who rely on the Lord.”
Affirmation: The Lord makes me happy. My trust is in Him.
Biblical Affirmations For Peace
2 Thessalonians 3:16 – “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
Affirmation: I have peace at all times, because the Lord freely gives it to me.
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Affirmation: I am filled with the peace of God. Therefore, I will not be afraid.
Colossians 3: 15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Affirmation: I will let the peace of Christ rule my heart, not my fears.
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Affirmation: I will bring all my worries to God. He brings me transcendental peace for every anxiety I present to Him.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Affirmation: Because my confidence is in the Lord, I will not be anxious or worried. In the Lord, I am made stable and safe.
Biblical Affirmations About Overcoming Fear
Psalm 34:4 – “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Affirmation: In the Lord, I am fearless.
Psalm 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Affirmation: I will trust the Lord with all of my fears.
1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Affirmation: I will put my trust in Jesus, because His perfect love drives out all of my fears.
Biblical Affirmations About Overcoming Anxious Beliefs
Hebrews 13:6 – “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Affirmation: I am not afraid of what people think, feel, or say about me, because the Lord is my helper.
1 Peter 5:6-8 – “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Affirmation: The Lord cares about me. When the enemy torments me with anxiety, I will cast it to the Lord and He will lift me up.
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
Affirmation: I am bold and capable because the Holy Spirit has made me this way.
Psalm 34:17 – “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
Affirmation: The Lord hears my prayers. I will not be anxious about my troubles, because the Lord will deliver me from them.
How To Use Affirmations In Your Everyday Life
It’s one thing to read positive affirmations, it’s another thing to actually implement them in your life. To make the use of affirmations actually work for you, they need to become a regular part of your life. So how can we do that simply and effectively?
- Write them down. Keep a notebook full of your favorite Bible verses and affirmations to speak over yourself with that verse. You could also put them on post-it notes, or index cards for easy access.
- Make them a part of your routine. Some people read their affirmations while looking themselves in the mirror in the morning. Others may incorporate them into their prayers. However it works for you, make these affirmations a part of your daily routine.
- Share them with friends and loved ones. More than likely, you’re not the only one struggling with anxiety. 1 in 4 people struggle with anxiety at some point in their life. We all could use the encouragement. When we bless others, it blesses us in return. So share your affirmations with others, because they may need them as much as you.
What’s your favorite affirmation for overcoming anxiety?