How to break the cycle of worry and anxiety

I think I lived as a thief for many years. Not because I stole an occasional candy bar from the grocery store or lifted jewelry from my friends home when she wasn’t looking! No, I stole from myself. Every time I aided and abetted anxiety I robbed myself of peace, security and contentment.

Do you steal from yourself?

We steal from ourselves when we give worry the keys to our peace and joy. Worry slips into our thoughts and robs us of the peace that is rightly ours. Worry sneaks into our thinking and steals bits and pieces of our faith until before we know it, it feels like we’ve got a lot less than we started with.

Sometimes, we think of our tendency to worry as just a harmless habit — part of us — just the flip side of how much we care and want to fix and have a bit of control. We rarely think of it as a masked intruder that we invite in to steal our joy or peace or contentment. But, that is exactly what happens.

When you wring your hands, wondering what will happen, you rob yourself of joy.

When you are stuck in the “what if” cycle, you rob yourself of peace.

When you overthink all the possibilities and fixate on the worst-case scenario, you rob yourself of contentment.

When you worry, you rob yourself of faith, but you can transform the bad habit of worry. You can end your life of crime right here and now! You don’t have to steal from yourself any longer.

You can strip anxiety of it’s power by turning your worry meditation into a truth meditation.

Read this: When resentment steals your joy

When you worry, you are meditating. You’re focusing on something that troubles you. You’re fixating on something that may or may not happen. You’re mulling over your fears. You’re running through the situation in your mind over and over and over.

Simply put, worry is just meditation in its most lethal form.

So, the next time worry rises in you, turn that worry mediation into a truth meditation instead.

Instead of focusing and fixating and mulling over and robbing yourself of joy and faith, take that same amazing ability you have to focus and fixate and focus and fixate on truth!

Meditate on God’s truth.

If you worry about how you will make ends meet, meditate on Philippians 4:19 – And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

If you worry about your loved one’s safety, meditate on Psalm 91:4 – He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shieldand rampart.

If you worry about that presentation or performance or confrontation or whatever else intimidates you, meditate on Judges 6:12-14 – The Lord is with you, mighty warrior… go in the strength you have…

You get the idea! Instead of stealing from ourselves by worrying, lets nourish ourselves by meditating on truth. What truth in God’s Word are you going to meditate on today?

This post originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.

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