Unfading Beauty and Strength

Christian Encouragement and Practical Tips for Ordinary Women

Learn how to calm anxiety and choose courage

Learning How to Calm Anxiety: Practical, Courageous, and Spiritual Tips

Inside: My personal tips on how I continue to learn how to calm anxiety.

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While wearing my favorite graphic t-shirt labeled “Choose Courage.”, my husband, who is more of a polo wearing, non-graphic tee kind of guy, asked me, “What does that mean?”

I said with unmasked disdain, “What do you mean, What does that mean??

While it seemed quite obvious to me, it did cause me to stop and reflect…

What does “Choose Courage” mean?

For my introverted self, it means to take the initiative in friendship, attend a conference where I know very few people, or maybe even talk to a stranger in the grocery store.

Courage can mean following passions and dreams, in spite of what others think.

Choosing courage for you may look completely different:

  • Facing another ultrasound with butterflies in your stomach after multiple miscarriages.
  • Deciding to stay home with your children after ten years of working full-time, or going back to work after being at home with your kids for 18 years.
  • Or opening your heart to another marriage after the last one left you stunned and dismayed.

Scary and hard choices surround us every day.

“Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”

Mark Twain

The decisions which require the most courage are not as easy as the ABCs, and the ABCs are not an easy feat for a five-year-old.

But the actions I made despite my fears are what molded me into the person I am today. The following decision still leaves my mouth dry at times.

  • After college, I moved to a city where I knew one person.
  • I chose a career in nursing, where I still face the fears of keeping my patients safe every shift.
  • I choose to be a Christian in a world where relativity is king.

But, How do we continue to choose courage in our ordinary lives?

How can we be courageous in a world that knocks us down, calls us crazy or weird, or just thinks we are wasting our time?

How do we learn how to calm our anxiety in a persistent way?

We need courage in all aspects of our lives, even in the most ordinary ways. And everybody starts at zero.

An ordinary lesson:

I’m teaching my daughter to ride her bike with no training wheels. She has been able to pedal and balance with a little push off from me, but she has yet to learn how to get started by herself.

She remarked, “I don’t think I can do that.”

I simply responded, “You didn’t think you could ride without training wheels last week and look at you now.”

She gave me a small smile and then stated, “She no longer had butterflies in her stomach while pedaling.”

That’s how we step out in courage and face our fears.

And that is how we calm our anxiety.

One.. little… baby… step… at… a… time.

Remember, we all start at zero, whether that is learning to cook, going off to college, or learning to ride a bike without training wheels.

Keep pedaling, and eventually you will have less butterflies.

But to help keep your stomach intact, I gathered some practical tips that help me calm my anxiety and choose courage. Choose one tip or all, but just keep stepping out in boldness.

“First you have to believe in yourself before others can believe in you.”

Mimi Ikonn
You can conquer fear and win the race! Start with a plan!

10 Ways to Calm Anxiety and Face Your Fears With Courage:

1. Start with a small decision.

Often we are overwhelmed by the height of the mountain, but like the clutter in your house, pick a corner, and focus on one step at a time.

2. Meditate on scripture.

The word Meditate gets a bad rep. as something those extra crunchy moms or yoga masters do.

But really Meditate, just means to “focus one’s thoughts“. I find scripture memorization to be the most helpful to me.

If you need some guidance Sarah Geringer offers some great resources on Christian meditation:

Related: The Best Way to Practice Meditation

3. Pray.

Maybe this is stating the obvious, but I believe in the power of prayer. God says to share with him all your concerns.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

1 Peter 5:7, NLT

4. Talk to someone.

Sometimes just saying your fears out loud reveals the truth behind them.

Much like anger, there is an underlying reason for our fears. Maybe you’re scared people will make fun of you, that you will fail, or that you will just forget an ingredient in that cake.

Talking to a trusted confidante may help put your fears in perspective.

5. Educate yourself.

I’m a self-professed nerd. When I’m scared, nervous, or just curious, I read.

I’ve read books on cloth diapering (yes, I did do that.), neuroscience (my first job was in a Neuroscience ICU. Sounds impressive, right?), and raising a strong-willed child. (Just to name a few).

Reading gives me knowledge, which gives me the confidence to face a wide extreme of fears, such as:

  • Using the wrong cloth diaper (Hint, there is no wrong choice.)
  • Keeping my patients alive.
  • Raising my children to be adults (Yikes!)

Of course, sometimes you have to put down the book and just start. (See #1)

6. Surround yourself with reminders.

**The following links may be an affiliate link, meaning if you make a purchase, I will receive a small amount of income at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Find phrases, quotes, or scriptures to remind you that you’re strong and courageous. Consider the examples below:

  • Use the calendar on your phone.
  • Make your own printable using Canva
  • Find a coloring book with quotes. You can find one of my favorites HERE: Usborne Books & More
  • Or find a beautiful plaque or hanging from Etsy.

7. Think about your why.

Knowing the reason behind why you want to do something can be the catalyst you need when you’re stuck in the middle of the mountain.

Don’t forget to put your “Why” where it will smack you in the face like a deer in the headlights.

Your why may be different for each fear.

My daughter’s why for learning to ride a bike is so she can be more independent. (And I have promised her a new bigger girl bike with a basket)

My why for writing pushes me to keep going, even when I’m scared or feel like I’m failing.

8. Journaling

You knew I was going to say this one, didn’t you? But journaling doesn’t have to mean blogging or typing. Nobody but you has to see what you write.

Take it from someone who is much better at writing her feelings, then speaking. Journaling does help the spinning funnels of ideas and feelings get out of your head.

Similar to talking to someone, journaling can help reveal your fears and put them in perspective.

9. Do something that scares you every day. (Or at least every week)

Even if it is simple, the practice helps you be courageous with the bigger things in life.

10. Finally, Have Faith.

If you are a Christian, we can face our fears because we know who holds the future. A favorite Acapella song states it well: Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Whether you choose to wear a graphic t-shirt as a reminder to “Choose Courage” or you just choose to keep pedaling, remember it’s not the fear that’s the problem, but rather what you do with the fear.

You may also enjoy:

When Your Fear is Greater Than Your Faith

One size doesn’t fit all

Do It Scared: Website and podcast

Now it’s your turn! Do you have any tips to add?

As always, Thank you for reading. And Remember, Sharing is Caring.

This page may contain advertisements or affiliates, which may allow me to take home a small amount of income at no additional cost to you. For more information, go here.


10 thoughts on “How to Calm Anxiety in 10 Practical Ways

  1. Brienne, beautifully written! Jeremiah 29:11 has always been a source of inspiration to me. Now I will be listening for the “whisper of God” every time I read this verse. May many be blessed by your writings.

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