Athlete, Do This for Anxiety
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It’s a condition that everyone experiences, though most of the time we don’t want to admit it. We might not always be aware of it.
Some of us struggle with anxiety to a serious degree, while for others it might be more subtle.
I recall going through a very busy week with a lot of responsibilities. You can relate as an athlete. You’re busy enough as it is, and then you have extra pressures added that test your limits.
I had finished my morning run and my body needed fuel. As I sat at the breakfast table, my mind spinning with all that I had to do, I suddenly got agitated at my wife, who kept asking me to do favors before I could even pour a cup of coffee.
I also lost patience with my young kids who were more interested in goofing off than eating.
My mind kept flashing back to that meeting at work in which my performance didn’t “meet expectations.” I have to work longer and harder, I thought.
When I left the house, I took a deep breath and realized that I was feeling anxious.
Reflecting on how my mind had sped up, I realized that I was trying to outrun the anxiety by telling myself I had to work more. Speeding up led to feeling angry, which I took out on my wife and kids. I could have acted in worse ways if I hadn’t taken a personal timeout.
Then I remembered Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Anxiety is a normal struggle in our human, fallen condition. God wants us to recognize our anxiety and bring our requests to Him (see 1 Peter 5:7). God loves us and is doing amazing work in us, for which we can thank Him! When we do that, God promises peace, which will protect our hearts and minds.
Let these verses remind you that because God is in control, you can trust Him.
Because you’re working for Him, you can have joy.
You can be free to give your best effort without worrying about the outcome.
When you present your requests to Him, He promises peace.
(Athlete, if you struggle with mental health, reach out to a licensed professional. A trusted counselor can be a great resource. Here are also some resources you may find helpful: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YMPzNhqdbaJ5AYOMJSvGh71Ql2DOsOoachw9RWjuu8A/edit?usp=sharing.)