There can be some people who think that anxiety is actually good for them - the idea that it keeps us on our toes because we focus on something until it's done and accomplished. What's so bad about that?
While it's true that worry can be productive most of the time, note that it only makes you productive because it steals the focus off something and puts it on something else. Sadly, when we are anxious, our feelings of anxiety actually steal attention from things that really matter more than others.
When we're anxious about money, it gets us zooming into our lack or need, or even just how to make money, while taking the focus off the great blessings we still have, like family, health and leisure time. When we're anxious about our figures or our health, it may get us fit but overly concerned about our bodies and similarly forgetful of how many other things we have been gifted with by God.
Anxiety is not something that amplifies focus and productivity, but one that simply redirects it from one value to another. That can be quite dangerous and most of us know that. So how do we beat anxiety?
The antidote to anxiety is best given to us in Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
In the same way anxiety steals the focus and joy off other areas of your life and puts them on something that you want to achieve, we can choke anxiety by cutting its supply of focus and energy and putting these instead on things we have already achieved or been blessed with - in other words, thanksgiving.
Anxiety comes as a mix of a deep sense of unhealthy discontentment that tells us that our current situation is not good enough and a fear that God will not pull through the way we want to. Thanksgiving however, bends towards the belief that we now have all we need in Christ Jesus and in the same way God moved for us before, He will move again for us today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives because He never changes. He remains faithful yesterday, today and forever.
Building an attitude of gratitude is effective against anxiety because it takes the focus off our will, our desires and our ways and puts it instead on God's will, desires and ways. When we are thankful for what He has done, what we are really saying is "Lord, I acknowledge your goodness in the past and apply it now to my present and future circumstances."
When we grow in gratefulness everyday, we are taken off the distracting and destructive trail of anxiety and put into the peace and joy that is in knowing that God has His own ways and they're better than ours. So start counting your blessings today - even write them down if it helps - and rejoice in manifold good things God has given you and done for you in your lifetime and even in one day. You'll be surprised how fast anxiety flees from your heart and mind!