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Healing Hurts :: ANXIETY

anxiety: distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.



Anxiety seems to be an inevitable part of life. Stimulated by fear, when life comes at us with both barrels, we go into a panic attack or worse, shut down completely. 


Often, we bring anxiety on ourselves, with our too busy, over-productive, thoughtless style of modern work, play and home life. We rush around trying to cram as much into one day as we possible can. And we wonder why we have anxiety! 


If we take a simpler approach to our day we're less stressed and worried, by slowing down, we find meaning and purpose in whatever task we've been assigned, whether it's scrubbing dishes, driving a bus or delegating duties to an office. If we put more care-filled thought into our daily routine, the mundane will turn beautiful and our self-inflicted anxiety will fade away.


Another word for anxiety is worry. And fear is always at the root of worry. We learned last month in our Virtues~n~Vices column that faith is the only thing that can counteract fear. If you are running low on faith... I have just the answer for you. God's Word! 

Here are a some Scripture references that help me in times of anxiety. Look them up. When one speaks to you, write it on a 3x5 card and keep it with you. 


God's Word will renew your mind and remove your anxiety!


Joshua 1:9
Psalms 16:8; 27:1; 34:4; 55:22; 56:11; Psalm 91
Proverbs 3:5-6; 12:25
Isaiah 26:3; 41:10
Matthew 6:25-34
John 14:27
2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 4:15-18; 9:8; 10:5
Philippians 4:8

2 Timothy 1:7; 4:18


5 STEPS THAT OVERCOME ANXIETY
  1. Check Your Inputs - Media influences are a recipe for anxiety and depression. Why do we think we need to know everything that's going on in the world to survive each day? It's simply not true. There's very little we can do to change the head lines. Why clutter your mind with all the trivia, frivolity, drama and violence? Life's too short to waste brain matter on unnecessary input. Instead, fill your mind with praise music to lift your spirit, read a good old book! Need help finding one? Email me.
  2. Check Your Thoughts - Think about what you are thinking about. Journal your thoughts in times of anxiety, trace them back, find the input that triggered those thoughts. You may need to eliminate an activity, a friend or program that's triggering anxiety. 
  3. Check Your Activity - Lack of exercise, not enough or too much sleep can cause depression and anxiety. Take a walk, look at the birds. Are they worrying?  Stillness, silence and solitude work wonders for anxiety. Yoga has been instrumental in my own mental and physical health. (Now don't get ruffled about yoga... there are Christian Yoga books now.) Also, get yourself on a good sleep routine. There's a lot of research showing the importance of circadian sleep rhythm - sleep when the sun does. 
  4. Check Your Diet - Eat closer to the earth. Cut caffeine and sugar. Drop soda, drink more water. Look for hidden sugars, high-glycemic levels in bread, grains, fruit, veggies, condiments, etc. By eating more organic, non-processed foods we will naturally feel better. 
  5. Check Your Focus - What do you spend your day thinking about? Take your mind off worries by helping someone else. Become a mentor, volunteer, lead or take a class. There's always someone who has more problems. When we take our mind off ourselves and put it on someone else, it's amazing how insignificant our worries seem. 


I hope this week's column has been helpful to you. I know what it's like to suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. If you have a serious problem, don't hesitate to get medical assistance. God has given us doctors to help us. I was on medication for a couple of years to help me press through some tough times. During those years, I stayed busy renewing my mind with Scripture. Soon I had the strength and ability to live without anxiety medication. 



Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. ~ Philippians 4:6-7 (Amplified)



Are anxious thoughts creeping in? 


Watch or listen to @HillsongUnited sing Mighty To Save http://youtu.be/-08YZF87OBQ

* Helpful Resources: 
Hope for the Heart Biblical Counseling Keys: Worry - The Joy Stealer by June Hunt
Hope for Today Bible by Joel and Victoria Osteen
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
The Rule of St. Benedict 
Waiting on God by Andrew Murray