Think about what you are thinking about when you train hard or race. Said another way, be intentional about what you think about each day. Don’t focus and dwell on all the things that can go wrong in a particular running situation. Think far more about what can go right.
Count your blessings to stay in a positive frame of mind. Think about the incredible ability you’ve been given to run at all. Many people can’t even run. Truly be thankful for the amazing gift of just going out for an easy run each day.
Think about the wonderful people in the running community who surround you and be thankful for their encouragement and support. In other words, think about those things that are going right for you and the blessings of your great community.
Cultivate a life of gratefulness and thankfulness in all areas of your life including running, rather than a life of anxiety and worry.
For Christians, God offers us one amazing and beautiful trade. He wants us to give Him all our worries, anxiety, problems, and challenges. In return, he gives us peace, care, direction, and love.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you”. He will take and carry our burdens if we let Him.
Believe and actually live 1 Peter 5:7 in running and life.
Remind yourself often about how far you've already come in your running journey. Think about the amazing progress you've made. Focus on the blessings that happened to you as a direct result of the relationships you've formed in your running community.
Pray when you feel anxious about a workout, race or run. Have someone you trust pray with you as well when you are worried, stressed, or anxious. Relax, take a deep breath, and believe He will meet your needs in a way that is best for you.
Have faith that you can get through your race, workout, or your latest running challenge. You've done it before. You can do it again.
Philippians 4: 6-9 says, Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard in me. Then the God of peace will be with you”.
Paul is saying to turn everything over to God. Give your situation to God and pray without worrying, without ceasing. Focus on what is true, the beautiful, the honorable, the gracious, and the excellent. Focus on using the gifts He gave you to run to your God-given potential. Feel His glory as you run. Replace your worried thoughts with His truth and hope.
Think about your identity in Christ as well. You're always loved by God regardless of how you perform in a race. Go for your God-given potential in running, give it all you've got, but don't get your identity from your accomplishments. Find your identity in Christ.
Accomplishments come and go. Your relationship with Christ lasts for eternity. You are loved no matter how well or how poor you perform in a race by God, your parents, your coaches, and others. You are loved for who you are, not what you do.
Think about the amazing and beautiful gift you've been given to go on daily runs with your friends. Each daily run provides needed exercise, stress reduction, and meaningful conversation. Be grateful for these daily gifts.
Many times you'll go for a run and by the end of the run stress is reduced and whatever you had to deal that day does not seem like a big deal anymore. What a huge blessing to come back refreshed and be ready to go again!
Remember, worry is the opposite of faith. Enter into the peace and emotional rest that your daily run provides. Don't let worry and anxiety steal your peace and joy. Choose faith, an abundant life, and belief in your God-given ability instead. When race day comes, trust in Him and the work you did to get to this point in your journey.
We enter into God's protection when we step into His shelter. Psalm 91: 1 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Highest, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”
Step into the shelter He made for you when the storms of life come, his word.
Christ's word is your shelter to run to when you're stressed and overwhelmed in the rainy days of life. Seek refuge in Him and the words He gave us when worry shows up at your door.
Save decades of time by learning early in life where true love, peace, and acceptance comes from. Choose the truth of God's word over the lies of unrealistic anxious and worrisome thoughts.
Now, go after your God-given potential with a sense of freedom and hope! Leave nothing at the finish line of your dreams. And, remember my favorite Bible verse of all time, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Philippians 4:13.
You can do this!
Read these Scriptures and let them into your heart and mind to help overcome anxiety and worry.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Matthew 6: 25,26
Don’t be anxious
Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s trouble be sufficient for the day.
I want you to be free from anxieties…”
1 Corinthians 7:32
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 6, 7
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. 7 Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 6:7
How to change thoughts for good
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8 indicates that we must be intentional about redirecting our thoughts to the things mentioned in this verse. We have to make a conscious and deliberate decision to think about and act on the right things mentioned in the verse. Many times, this requires an iron will on our part. Redirecting our thoughts to do the right things takes hard work.