I have spent years studying the Book of Psalms, and it’s fascinating how the words in this book are calming. Recently, during our weekly Bible Study session, we had discussions about anxiety and mental health in general.
During the session, a few of the group members asked about the verses they could read to manage anxious or overcome anxious periods.
Given my knowledge as a theologian and extensive study of this book, I gave a detailed list to the group and decided to write this post for a wider audience.
8 Best Psalms to read for anxiety
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
This is a psalm about the comfort that is found in God. In Psalm 91:2, the Psalmist says that the Lord is his refuge and fortress and that he can trust Him.
As simple as these words sound, this Psalm is a reminder that God’s got us, and we only need to abide by his commands, resting in His shadows.
This Psalm is also a reminder to rest in God’s shadow and put down our worries and anxieties in his presence, trusting that He’ll bring us calm.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”
If you are struggling with anxiety or even people pleasing, this Psalm is one of the best sources of calm in the Bible.
Psalm 27:1-3 says that God is a source of light and salvation to all believers, a source of strength, and that all who believe in Him shouldn’t be anxious or afraid of anything because God will fight all battles on their behalf.
“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.”
If you are feeling overwhelmed, this Psalm is great. It contains the most encouraging words written by David at a time when he was feeling very overwhelmed.
Through Psalm 61:1-3, the Psalmist asks God to hear his cries because his heart is overwhelmed. He also acknowledges that God is his shelter from all enemies. And so, this Psalm promises peace and calm, especially when feeling overwhelmed.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”
This Psalm is the other great Psalm for anxiety, especially for individuals desperate to receive God’s Mercy and Grace.
If you are worried about your relationship with God or maybe anxious about things happening in your life, this Psalm reminds you of God’s unfailing love, his mercies, and compassion for anyone who goes to Him.
It’s also recommended when feeling heartbroken or contrite.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23 is an excellent Psalm for anyone struggling with anxiety and seeking comfort in God’s love and Grace. This psalm is also a reminder of God’s Goodness and Mercies that never end.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
This is the other Psalm that’s also considered a prayer for persons struggling with anxiety. Psalm 46:1-10 talks about God’s strength and presence in the lives of humankind, especially all individuals going through troubling times.
If you are struggling with anxiety or anxious thoughts, this Psalm is a reminder that God is always there for you and will protect you even when you are unsure of the events happening in your life.
“The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant?”
This is another excellent psalm for when you’re struggling with anxiety or negative thoughts or when you feel like you’re slipping.
This Psalm is a consolation to keep going and to trust God when feeling low and heartbroken because of his unwavering love that will support and console you, bringing you endless joy.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
This Psalm is best for anyone struggling with anxiety. It’s a reminder that all help comes from God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, and that God always watches over you, protecting and helping you when feeling lost and anxious.
What Psalms can you read when you are feeling anxious?
Consider reading Psalm 23, Psalm 121, Psalm 91, Psalm 84, or Psalm 61 if you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed and don’t know anything else to do.
These psalms are reminders of the love that God has for all humankind. Whenever you feel anxious and overwhelmed or struggling in between panic attacks, it’s normal to feel helpless, but the Bible reminds you that you don’t have to despair.
The Book of Psalms offers many consoling words throughout, and any of the Psalms above, whether recited as encouraging words or as prayers, will bring you peace and comfort.
Can you read these Psalms to calm the anxiety of others?
Yes, you can read Psalms to calm not just your anxiety but also the anxiety of others in your life. If your loved one is going through an anxious period and the words, ‘Be calm’ or ‘It’s going to be okay’ don’t seem to work, you may want to consider reading any of the psalms above.
The key is to think of these psalms as prayers and to calmly read every word, reminding them that everything will be okay because God loves them and that God is the only source of calm, peace, and strength that they need to get through the challenging times.
How do you pray these Psalms to overcome anxiety?
To overcome anxiety by praying these psalms, all you need to do is to prepare yourself to pray, then start reading the selected Psalm, reciting the words of the Psalm, as you would while praying.
Put yourself in the shoes of the Psalmist and use I, Me, and You as needed. You can recite the Psalm more than once.
It’s also advisable that you fully surrender yourself to God’s will, trusting that He will help you overcome the challenge you’re facing.
As a theologian, I have always been curious to learn more about the Christian Faith. That is why I pursued a Certificate in Christian Studies, Certificate in Christian Foundations and a Masters in Theology. I also have an immersive experience in editing for numerous websites. I have worked as an editor for over a decade and am currently the editor-in-chief at Christian Faith Guide. I enjoy working as an editor and feel privileged to share my expertise and help spread God’s word. You can read more about me on the about us page.