Christ-centered meditation can bring us the peace we are searching for, particularly when we feel anxious. Following my divorce, Christ-centered meditation was the practice that healed me of my anxiety.
But healing didn’t come easy. Being still is the opposite of being anxious, and though achieving this ability will ultimately bring balance and stability to our heart and soul, getting there is a process. Christian meditation can help.
This article explores how. But first, you need to understand what anxiety is, why you experience it, and how it affects your life.
What is anxiety?
Take your most stressful and fearful moment and what that felt like, and then imagine living with that feeling day in and day out. Unlike normal healthy fear, anxiety is a heightened and consistent state of fear.
When we are anxious, we release powerful hormones including adrenaline and cortisol, which provide us with extra energy. This energy can drive us to be insecure, running to and away from perceived dangers, ready to fight when needed. Anxiety feels unstable and uncomfortable, and that’s why we seek to relieve it. Anxiety seeks pleasure because it is a form of pain.
Experiencing anxiety in the body feels like agitation, instability, distress, and an overall feeling of unrest. It’s more than a nervous twitch that comes and goes; it’s a nervous vibration that exists at our core. Living with anxiety can be exhausting because when we are afraid, it’s stressful.
The person with anxiety can have an almost supernatural energy that drives them. The pursuit of safety, security, and peace can become a life trajectory for the person who suffers from anxiety.
I know because I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder following my divorce. Often, adult anxiety triggers as the result of an event that felt similar to an earlier experience during childhood. For me that feeling is being alone.
My mother left my family when I was 14, and that marked my first experience with anxiety. When I found myself alone after my divorce, the anxiety that I had learned to live with combined with a new fear, which was that I might always be alone.
The latin root word for anxiety is anxius or “troubled in the mind.” Anxiety can choke, squeeze, torment and cause our mind to be hypervigilant as it tries to find a reason and a solution for the fear we feel. Many other mental disturbances like ADHD, eating disorders, and addictions have an element of anxiety to them.
The goal of anxiety is ultimately to get us to a place of safety and peace. Anxiety begs us to become fearless and demands us to take action. Where can we find comfort, safety and peace? Where is the stability that we need so that our minds can calm down and rest?
It’s the job of the mind to help us survive. And, anxiety is our soul speaking to us. We need to listen to it and find a deeper truth about who we are and what we need. So turn toward anxiety and listen to what it is saying to you.
Scripture and Verses To Meditate on To Overcome Worries and Anxiety
Reading and meditating on God’s word brings our troubled mind new thoughts. Certain thoughts create feelings of fear. We can change or reverse this pattern through reading, memorizing, or meditating on scripture. Here are a few I find particularly helpful.
Scriptures on Overcoming Anxiety
My favorite scripture which helped me during my time of need is, “You will keep in perfect peace all whose thoughts are fixed on you, all who trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3). At a time when trust was difficult for me, I decided to place my trust in God and in His words, not mine and the thoughts in my mind.
We can turn to God’s Spirit, which is in our hearts. Here we find Christ’s powerful, peaceful presence located inside of us. God is always with us. Recite this verse from Isaiah 41:10 whenever you feel anxious and alone:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Verses To Meditate on To Overcome Anxiety and Find Peace
God became my salvation, which meant deliverance from harm, ruin, and loss. He became my lifeline, and it worked, just like these verses about salvation, which I still meditate on to this day, and you can, too:
“Surely God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
“The LORD is my light and my salvation — so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? (Psalm 27:1)
Televangelist Pastor Kenneth Copeland says, ”Through His written Word, God provided the way for you to be changed from the inside out. The Word allows you to know Him and approach your life in a way that pleases Him—and is successful every time.”
Christian Music Meditation for Anxiety
Music alone provides a relief from anxiety especially if it is calm, beautiful, and has spiritual words. Because music travels as sound waves, it has the power to change our brain waves and break up old patterns of thinking.
Anxious thoughts need to be brought into the light to be healed and transformed into new thoughts. Scientists have shown that singing songs with spiritual words facilitates healing throughout our body.
Chanting also reduces fear and anxiety. A study by the University of Hong Kong showed that when people were chanting while being shown fear-inducing photos, areas of the brain that would normally light up on fMRI scans to indicate fear started to disappear. Thus, chanting can also help moderate and get rid of fear. But it was not just any word; if they chanted “Santa Clause” nothing changed, indicating spiritual words are important.
The practice of Christian chanting has been used for centuries to calm the mind and open the heart. There are over 500 verses regarding the benefits of worshipping God through singing. I particularly enjoy Christian Devotional Chant. It frees my mind through the simple repetition of powerful scripture set to music.
Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Texas believes in the power of singing. He writes in his book “Frequency,” “The singing of songs is actually a vehicle by which we can worship the Lord and connect with His person. We can enter into an awareness of His presence and commune with God. We can see God for who he truly is and then respond accordingly. We must never treat worshipping the Lord as merely a rote exercise. We must take this time seriously.”
Silent Christian Meditation for Anxiety
By far the most difficult thing for a person with anxiety to do is to sit silently and meditate. When I began my meditation practice I could barely sit for five minutes because I was riddled with a mind that told me what to do every second. It never said sit and do nothing! I was unfamiliar with The Grace of God, a presence so calming that even my mind eventually surrendered to it.
In the silence, if you can learn to sit and listen and not judge but hold a compassionate space for God to hear your thoughts, your thoughts will begin to slow down and become clearer. In this practice, you learn about what is in your mind and how your mind works. You can begin to capture false thoughts and let them go. The goal is to observe and let go of untrue thoughts.
Our mind is a storage place of information. Some of this data is no longer useful or may be false. We need to hit the delete button or change the channel. Silent Christian meditation can help.
One of the reasons I was so anxious is because I didn’t know how to sit silently and listen to my deep inner truth. Fortunately, the wisdom of Christ is in our hearts. It is here where truth exists.
I was captivated by the thoughts in my mind that kept me in survival mode. When I learned to merge my mind with the mind of Christ, I was able to discover a wisdom inside of me that directed me out of confusion and fear and into courage, peace, and personal truth.
Meditating on God’s Word Leads To Peace
One of the best ways to relieve anxiety is to get out of our minds and find rest in our hearts. Christ is the wisdom of God and is located in our hearts. This is the essence of Christian meditation.
It is in stillness and going inward that we can find the answers to help our minds become more peaceful. Our minds will relentlessly try to find a solution to any perceived threat or danger and will not rest until it finds safety and truth.
Learning to rest and listen is an important part of recovering from anxiety. It is through rest and stillness that we hear from God’s Spirit the truth of what is causing us to worry or what contaminates our hearts. We might not be handling our finances correctly, we might be in a harmful relationship, or we have bad habits that continue to impact our health. Ignoring these situations leads us to worry inwardly.
We often seek the answer outside of ourselves instead of from the wisdom we find inside. Or we use coping mechanisms to diminish the uncomfortable effects of anxiety instead of facing the underlying cause. These solutions are only temporary.
In Christ-centered meditation, we grow closer to our truth and to God. We find our anxiety can lead us right back to His wisdom, power, and peace. This is why scripture says, “I will fear no evil for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4). If you listen and heed His advice, our anxiety can completely disappear as it did for me.
As we separate from the world, we can find stillness, rest, safety, and truth. I call it “rest management” instead of “stress management.” As we find stillness and rest, we experience His peace and His wisdom. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
The opposite of anxiety is peace. The purpose of anxiety is to bring you toward more peace in your life. Instead of running like Forrest Gump, sit, rest, listen from your heart and then take some action. This leads you out of anxiety, away from the persistent pursuit of pleasure and into a life of peace with Christ as your guide and companion. You are never alone.
Tonyah Dee has studied the Bible and wisdom traditions of the world for the last 30 years and teaches about finding ways to increase inner strength, stability, and confidence through practicing spiritual disciplines and healthy habits daily. Tonyah is a nutritionist, registered dietitian (R.D.), and earned her B.S. from Loma Linda University. She also holds certifications in Christ-centered life coaching, equine therapy, and meditation. Tonyah has been published in Scary Mommy, MSN, The Mighty, Mantra Wellness, CoveyClub, Thrive Global. Follow Tonyah on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Medium.