Reduce Anxiety by Doing Scary Things

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

– Isaiah 41:10

Did you know that doing scary things actually makes you less afraid in the long run? Though it seems paradoxical, the reality is that you are hard-wired to face your fears and push through. Yes, you will have some initial angst, but consistently doing the things you are afraid of or that intimidate you will lower your anxiety level over the long haul.

When I was writing my new book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World, I covered this topic extensively, and interestingly, my publisher wasn’t entirely sure I was correct. They actually asked me for scientific proof of the assertion because it sounds so unorthodox. Thankfully, as I showed them, the truth is that research does validate that doing scary things causes you to be a more serene person overall. On the contrary, when you withdraw from the things that cause you to feel anxious or fearful, you experience temporary relief, but your anxiety as a whole increases. 

Friend, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something scary every day,” and it will help you. If you struggle with worry and you find yourself up at night fretting over small things, shift your paradigm and embrace stretching, adrenaline-inducing activities in your day-to-day life. While the practice will initially be painful, it will ultimately build strength on the inside of you and prepare you for the big trials that inevitably come. Our Savior didn’t shrink back from the challenge of a confrontation, the terror of demons, or the pain of betrayal, and all these things enabled Him to do the ultimate frightening thing — give His life for you and me. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus and let Him fill your heart with courage as you resolve to embrace scary things in your everyday life!


I ask for your help, Jesus, as I shift my paradigm and learn to embrace scary things in my everyday life. Fill me with courage by the power of your Holy Spirit.


What was the last scary thing you did? How did you feel when you were done? Did it ultimately help you?

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