Negative thoughts and anxiety affect how you think and feel about yourself, which can interfere with serving and caring for others. Here are 7 self-care tips to stop negative thoughts and anxiety.
Negative Thoughts Can Affect You
Focusing on caring for yourself can be challenging when you’re caring for others. But if you don’t take the time to address your needs, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and stressed. Self-care is an effective tool for prevention.
Many Christian women feel like serving and caring for others is a ministry; it may be their calling or spiritual gift. Unfortunately, many Christian women also feel guilty when they want or need to take time for themselves.
If this sounds like you, I encourage you to vigilant about stopping negative thoughts from interfering with your self-esteem. There is no need to feel guilty.
You are not called to serve 24/7. Jesus slept, took time to be by himself, ate, and drank as He needed it.
Self-care is essential for mental and emotional health and helps you manage stress.
The negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can create chronic stress. This can upset the body’s hormone balance, deplete the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages your immune system. (1)
The good news is there are things you can do to keep your thoughts in check.
So read on, sisters, and learn about these self-care tips and how to deal with negative thoughts and anxiety!
It can be stressful and overwhelming when you begin improving your self-care, and many people also feel guilty when they start taking time for themselves. So, I made this FREE faith-based guide to help you get started. Be sure to grab yours!
Self-care Tips to Protect Your Mind From Negative Thoughts
For some people, self-care is the most effective way to stop negative thoughts from entering their minds.
1 Avoid Fatigue
While easier said than done, getting enough sleep can be one of the most effective ways to keep your thoughts positive.
I jokingly tell my husband, “As a faith writer, every morning I’m excited to start writing, but every night I go to bed telling myself how my writing is a waste of time.”
Fatigue overshadows and sometimes darkens the validity and truth of our actions for the Lord.
It’s more than just getting enough sleep. It’s knowing when to shut off the news or research and learning when to take a short break.
And, it’s knowing when to take care of ourselves, when to pray, and when to rest.
2 Stay Well-Fed
What we eat has a lot to do with how we feel. Unfortunately, our food choices plummet when we’re bombarded with negative thoughts.
Healthy habits can help us through the good times and the bad.
Do the following to keep your brain and body well-fed:
- Create and follow a healthy meal plan.
- Use a grocery list.
- Have ingredients on hand for easy-to-make dinners (tacos, omelets, tuna salad) to eat healthy when you don’t feel like cooking.
- Cook double the amount needed and freeze them as healthy entrees for more demanding days.
3 Address Stressors and Stress
Having stressors isn’t healthy.
However, it’s impossible to remove all of them, you’re always going to have some sources of stress. But you can work to remove as many stressors as possible.
Still, here’s the thing, the danger isn’t having the stress – it’s not addressing the stress you carry.
The most successful way to manage stress is to be active. (2)
Spend 30 minutes every day working through the stress from your day.
- Go for a walk
- Lift weights
- Play with your kids
Just do something with movement!
Want to learn more about stress? Here’s a great resource!
Self-care Tips to Stop Negative Thoughts and Anxiety
You can’t always prevent negative and anxious thoughts: however, there are simple ways to overcome negative and anxious thoughts when they occur.
For some, seeking professional counseling or taking anti-anxiety medications is most effective. But, several effective self-help activities can be helpful.
Self-care Tips When You’re Stuck in Negative Thought Patterns
There are many ways to stop negative thoughts naturally and without taking medications.
4 Address Immediate Physical Needs
When possible, address your physical needs. Often taking a nap, eating a snack, or taking a quiet break can help overcome negative and anxious thoughts.
Even using the restroom can be helpful.
5 Connect with Your Environment
Sometimes grounding yourself can help you overcome negative and anxious thoughts. Connect with the reality of your environment by connecting your 5-senses to the room. Think about the smell, feel, sounds, look, and even taste of objects in the room to distract your mind.
6 Talk it Out
Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to a trusted person about your thoughts. While getting the concerns off your chest is beneficial, it also allows you to hear your negative and anxious thoughts out loud. Often, hearing them helps see them as they are – not as overwhelming.
Talking to others can also allow you to get feedback. Trusted family, friends, or counselors have your best interest at heart and typically offer advice you can follow.
Reading Scripture Can Also Be a Powerful Tool to Help Stop Negative Thinking.
It’s easy to think that your work isn’t necessary or making a difference-especially if you start to feel overwhelmed.
7 One of My Favorite Self-care Tips to Stop Negative Thoughts and Anxiety – Meditate on Scripture
The truth is, the enemy would love for you to believe your work isn’t required – but that’s a lie. Not only is your work vital – it IS making a difference!
“My Work Isn’t Needed.”
Remember: you have a skill and art about doing your job and people who count on you to do your tasks exactly how you do them. You are part of a whole.
1 Corinthians 12:15-16 reminds us of this when it reads, “If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?” (NLT).
“My Work Isn’t Good Enough.”
Negative thoughts and anxiety can also drive us to compare ourselves to others. But nothing good comes from this.
Remember: you are intentionally given talents different from others!
Galatians 6:4 reminds us that “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” (NLT).
In closing, I’m guessing if we were chatting over coffee, you’d tell me that you know you’re an integral part of your ministry or why you care for and serve people. You also know how important self-care is.
My prayer is that if you have a bad day, you can capture your thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5) and pray through these Scriptures to place positive – and truthful – thoughts back into your mind to calmly carry you through the rest of the day.
Need some help with your self-care? Get your FREE copy of the Self-care Starter Guide HERE!
2 Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, by Emily Nagoski, PhD, Ballantine Books, 2020
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Lisa Kimrey is a 30-year veteran registered nurse, speaker, and author of the Bible study, The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness. At Mylifenurse, Lisa writes about simple ways to care for yourself to stay happy, healthy, and rejuvenated while you serve and care for others. Combining her years of nursing expertise with Scripture-based encouragement, Lisa shows readers easy ways to begin and maintain their self-care journey – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care Starter Guide!