It’s the middle of the night. The house is empty besides you and the dog that’s already fast asleep. Before you know it, you’re hearing strange, unfamiliar noises. Your mind spins out of control in every direction. Is someone trying to break in? Did an intruder already get in and is coming for you? Are there ghosts in this house? The possibility of the noise coming from the old rickety walls and air conditioning shifting doesn't even cross your mind, because if we’re being real here, you’re already planning out your escape and/or funeral.
We often tend to get way ahead of ourselves when we allow fear to creep into our heads. Your mind doesn't think clearly if even the smallest shred of terror finds its way in. You begin to panic, thinking ahead to the worst possible scenario rather than staying cool and collected in the moment.
Because we’re all susceptible to fear, here are five ways to remain calm and not let it get ahead of you.
1 - Block it all out:
The source of fear is coming from whatever is happening that you’re not so certain about, such as the strange noises. Try creating a barrier between you and that sound or whatever it is that’s alarming you. Similar to meditation, blocking it out forces you to redirect your thoughts into a more even state of mind.
2 - Focus on one thing to do:
Once you have separated yourself from the source of the fear, place your focus entirely on one specific thing. It especially helps if your “thing” requires concentration. Paint your nails, draw a picture, write an article, read a story… Activities like these demand full focus, rechanneling your thoughts into something productive.
3 - Go to your happy place:
I know it sounds cheesy, but just stay with me for a second. I don’t mean your happy place like they talk about in the movies as in the beach or whatnot. Happy place as in somewhere your thoughts go for a pick-me-up of sorts, dreaming about something to look forward to in the future even if it may or may not happen. Think about a trip you’d like to go on one day, the look on your husband’s face when you walk down the aisle, jumping out of a plane, holding your little one’s hand for the first time, or even a near future event like a concert you’ve been anticipating or a missions trip coming up.
4 - Recite Bible verses:
This is incredibly beneficial in standing up to fear. Speak those Bible verses loud and proud, letting the enemy know that you are confident in your God who is in control of all things. Any time I feel even the slightest bit of fear, I immediately begin saying my favorite verses out loud in a bold manner, placing my faith in God. 2 Timothy 1:7 is a great one, saying “For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
5 - Talk to God:
One of the simplest, most helpful tactics in defeating fear is opening up conversation with God. Talk to Him about what it is that’s scaring you, why you’re afraid, and how He can fix it. Lay all of the angst, the worry, the anxiety down at His feet. Remember that He holds all things steady in His hands, including you.
There isn’t as much reason to feel afraid as you may believe. Chances are that the situation has spiraled out of control in your mind before you even knew what it really was that frightened you. The next time you hear a strange noise or feel an apprehension about something, take a minute to go through these steps in order to lead to clearer thinking. We focus so much on the next moment and what’s going to happen, that we forget what’s actually taking place right now. Be strong and don’t be afraid, for God is coming to your rescue (Isaiah 35:4).