There are so many symptoms… stiff muscles, panic attacks, tension, upset stomach, obsessions, sweating, social withdrawal, avoiding certain places or routes, nightmares, shortness of breath, fight or flight, inability to sleep, weight gain or loss.
Anxiety may be due to stress in a relationship, pressure at work, travel, having a baby, school, financial issues, the loss of a loved one, illness, or even the side effect of medication. Anxiety can cause us to self medicate with alcohol, excess sleep… thus us slipping into depression. There are so many reasons anxiety may make its presence in your life.
...Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you
1 Peter 5:6-7
God doesn't wish anxiety on us and when it threatens to derail us we can release it to Him.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by trials in our lives. But if we commit to taking each day one at a time it will ease our anxieties. It's often when we feel things will never change, never improve that we become overwhelmed. But life has the ability to improve within a few hours, a day, weeks, months. No trial is forever, this too shall pass.
We may feel more relaxed, more at peace facing our anxiety and even when it does rear its head we can know it's temporary. We don't have to live at the mercy of anxiety! We all have the ability to turn to God and hand over whatever is causing us to be anxious to Him.
Telling God our worries and trusting He will gladly take care of them, we can rest assured He will listen. Admitting we are going through a struggle with anxiety through prayer can help. God may not take away our anxiety but we can lean on Him in our struggle.
One of the biggest triggers of anxiety is the unknown. God knows this. Wondering, worrying how things will turn out. We have been instructed not to fear. But by worrying we are desperately trying to wield control over our days, our future and how we believe things should be.
Often doctors use the same drugs used for depression to treat symptoms of anxiety. Unfortunately, medication may not work for everyone and understandably many people would prefer a drug free solution. Another form of treatment would be cognitive behavioral therapy. Although there is a success rate with cognitive therapy it takes time.
There are many practical solutions to dealing with anxiety that we can implement in our lives along with prayer and turning to God for comfort.
1. Sleep. Taking care of our bodies and health is vital. Getting adequate sleep will certainly minimize anxiety. Lavender scented products can be soothing and aid with relaxation.
2. Expect the best. Expecting the worst creates undue anxiety. We can change our internal dialogue to be positive. It's a process and won't happen overnight but each little improvement helps. Reminding ourselves to take one day at a time, that God is in control helps along with deep breathing exercises.
3. Set limits. We can't do it all. We are all human. Life is not perfect and no one in it is. Trying to be supermom and a "Yes" person will only wear us out. Keeping a balance in our life is vital. It's perfectly okay to say "No". When we overcommit it's us and our family members who pay the price. We know some people will take a mile if we give them an inch. But if someone gives you grief over you setting loving limits it's a reflection of them not you.
4. Music. Christian music can be very uplifting, relaxing and comforting. When we hear words of praise, hope and joy we are energized by the love we have for Jesus and how much Jesus loves us.
5. Adding fun to our lives. Maybe it's lunch with a friend, a phone call with a loved one, playing outside with the kids. Whatever it is, when we take the time to connect with the people in our lives we are happier and healthier.
6. Exercise. Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes just taking a walk around the neighborhood or hitting the trails for a jog will do wonders for anxiety. Cardio workouts have been proven in the medical field to help combat anxiety. Cardio is being proven to show quicker results and improvement in mood is often noticeable after just one workout. Yoga can help as well. Anxiety levels are often reduced after just a few workouts to a couple weeks. Generalized Anxiety is the most common form of anxiety and easiest to treat but cardio has recently been found to aid in even some of the more severe cases of anxiety such as Panic Disorder, OCD and Social phobias. But we don't have to live our life feeling trapped and at the mercy of anxiety.
7. Talk to someone. Whether its a friend or a trusted family member, having someone to talk to is often helpful. We should always go to God first with our struggle but God also puts people in our lives for a reason. Sometimes He uses them to help us, whether it be a doctor or a friend. Many people are suffering silently with anxiety behind closed doors. You aren't alone! If you are feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and its interfering with your ability to live your life, know that there are therapists who are trained to help with managing anxiety. Regardless of how we treat our anxiety, finding its root cause is important.
We don't have to let anxiety run our lives. We can know that the more we try to control our life's outcome the more anxiety will grow. We can choose be vigilant in what we are watering and giving life to. Anxiety is a weed in our garden of life. We can pray and ask God to help us plant flowers instead.
And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you? You have so little faith! "So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
Originally posted at ©gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com and used here with permission.
I'm a Texas native and call DFW home... Through writing I'm bringing awareness and encouragement to those who find themselves facing many struggles including but not limited to divorce, child custody issues and more. With over nine hundred thousand readers worldwide and posts shared by attorneys and psychologists grace power strength is empowering those to finding renewed hope. Hebrews 6:19
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