Have you ever noticed that anxiety steals your thought life? Like a bird swooping down to grab it’s prey, anxiety quickly descends snatching every good, pure, right and truth-filled thought from your mind leaving behind worry and fear. In the blink of an eye peace and contentment are gone, and the rumination of all the can go wrong and the “what-if’s” of life take over.
The Bible instructs us to fix our thoughts on what is good and right and true (Philippians 4:8). But that can be very difficult when anxiety is spiraling out of control. When I am knee deep in anxious thoughts I actually find it impossible to come up with any good thoughts.
How about you? Do you struggle to replace worrisome thoughts with peace-filled thoughts too?
If you know anything about me or if you’ve read my book or follow me on social media you know that I am passionate about finding practical ways to overcome fear and anxiety. And if you are like me, you want to know tangible ways to help change those yucky, anxious thoughts into Philippians 4:8 thoughts. This last year I discovered a new tool to add to my tool bag of resources I can pull out when I feel anxious…Scripture coloring! I spent many “shelter-in-place” nights coloring and reaping the benefits of this simple act. Instead of focusing on the uncertainty of the pandemic I colored. You can color too!
The benefits of Scripture coloring to reduce anxiety are powerful! It’s two-fold because Scripture coloring combines the power of God’s Word with the creative act of coloring. It’s mindful (scripture focused) and mindless (coloring allows the brain to relax) at the same time.
First, reading and knowing Scripture is the most powerful tool we have against worry and fear. God’s Word leads and guides us. It comforts and strengthens us. It exposes lies and fills us with truth. The Bible isn’t just words on a page… it’s words are alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) and power is held within them.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
Second, there are many benefits to coloring that help reduce anxiety. Here are the top four:
- Relaxes Your Mind– when we are worried our thoughts are scattered and our brains are on high alert. Coloring creates a meditative state which allows our brain to experience a much needed break from the effects of anxiety. Coloring generates calmness and quietness. And when we add Scripture to coloring, it positions our minds to ponder and reflect on truth. We are “fixing our minds” just like Philippians 4:8 instructs us to do.
- Promotes Better Sleep– coloring before bed helps prepare the mind for sleep. Instead of engaging in screen time, which can interfere with the production of melatonin in the brain, coloring calms the mind and helps unwind the cares and worries of the day.
- Engages Both Sides of the Brain– coloring uses both sides of the brain. Being creative with color choice and style engages the right side of the brain while staying within the lines and the hand motion of coloring engages the left side of the brain. This is beneficial because it distracts our entire mind from the attack of worry and fear and it paves a pathway for truth-filled thoughts to easily enter in.
- Improves Focus– anxiety interrupts our ability to focus while coloring realigns it because coloring requires concentration. By focusing on coloring, a non-stressful activity, our brain is able to set aside the worrisome thoughts and feelings and be in the moment. And when we color Scripture, we can be in the moment with God’s Word.
Scripture coloring is a practical approach that we can add to our tool bag of resources we can pull out when we feel anxious or afraid. It can help redirect our minds back to Christ…to fix our thoughts on what is right and true. It’s a tangible way to live out Philippians 4:8!
As a special gift I’ve created a Courage Bible Verse Coloring Book just for you! Ten pages of my favorite fear fighting scriptures to help point you back to God’s truth. Anxiety might swoop in to steal every good, right and true thought but we don’t have to let it. We can Scripture color ourselves right back into fixing our thoughts on what is lovely, pure, true and right.
Download your FREE Courage Bible Verse Coloring Book today!