College wrestler talks about how faith helps him deal with anxiety
Who has helped me deal with anxiety? “I look to my spiritual mentors to help me deal with anxiety. If there is something I am struggling with, I can talk to them about it and receive prayer.”
Favorite Scripture that deals with anxiety: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)
Why I chose this verse: “If you told someone that your favorite sports passage was from Philippians 4, most people would think it was 4:13. I originally started reading that chapter every night before a wrestling match just for that verse. But I kept reading the entire chapter as I was dealing with anxiety, and it says exactly what to do. If you really give it all over to the Lord, then He is going to give you that surpassing peace.”
How I deal with anxiety in life: “I was very anxious when I was going through the job interview process this summer for when I graduate in the spring. You may want certain things, but God wants certain things for your life, as well. So, I applied Proverbs 3:5 (NIV), where it says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ If we lean on our own understanding and then we don’t get something, we are going to be disappointed. But if we really believe we are trusting in the Lord, then God will make our paths straight, whether that looks like what we imagined or not. He is going to put you where He wants you to be.”
How I deal with anxiety in my sport: “Prayer is a great way to deal with anxiety. A lot of people pray before their matches, but I found it is really important to pray before my practices, as well. Competing against your own teammates can cause anxiety, so when I pray, it takes the stress off.
“I also pray at my matches. I never really pray to win my match; I just pray that whether I win or lose, I compete to the best of my ability and represent God in an appropriate way.”