In a recent Wall Street Journal article, therapists shared their favorite coping strategies for anxiety. They include normal recommendations like sleep and exercise, and surprising ones like looking at memes of pets, jumping off of cliffs on vacation, breathing slowly to classical music, and spending time with tomato plants.
I see nothing wrong with these surprising remedies to anxiety (and think we can thank God for them as signs of common grace). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but be thankful for the gift of prayer. In prayer, the God of the universe invites us into His presence to experience peace beyond all understanding (Philippians 4:6–7). When troubling emotions come, our first place to turn is not to the tomato plants, but to our heavenly Father.
And yet, my emotional problems aren’t just with the troubling ones. I’ve recognized how a lack of certain emotions poses a problem. A lackadaisical attitude toward sin, evil in the world, or the glories of God fall short of God’s desire for me. He created us as emotional creatures to love what He loves and hate what He hates.
As I’ve processed intense troubling emotions and my sinful apathy, I’ve found one part of Scripture particularly helpful: the Psalms.
Read my article on Open the Bible’s site to see why I find them so helpful and a few Psalms to get you started.