Healing for Anxiety
It was a first for me. I felt my palms sweat. My heart was racing, and the room was spinning. I thought I surely would faint. My panicked voice trembled as if I were crying. That day I learned how painful anxiety can be. All because of delivering a high school book report in front of my peers.
People experience anxiety on a daily basis. In fact, some fleeting anxiety or concern in our lives is actually healthy. It motivates us to make changes. For some, anxiety can become painful. Anxiety can take many other forms including panic attacks, worry, unwanted thoughts, restlessness, unfounded fears or battling the “what if’s.”
These days, that panicked high school girl is far in my rear view mirror. Jesus has now given me joy in helping others be less anxious. He has a plan for your life too, and it is not a life of constant anxiety. His plan is one of hope. We can praise Jesus knowing He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28) along our journey.
We serve an awesome God who knew we would struggle with anxiety. Our proof is in the over 300 Bible verses written about the topic. Philippians 4:6 reminds us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” God understands anxiety better than we ever could. He wants us to bring our worries to Him.
For over 40 million people, the symptoms are constant and more intense which can indicate a clinical anxiety disorder. Some may also have headaches, stomach aches and other physical illnesses. Causes for anxiety disorders are thought to be genetic, major life stressors and/or a chemical imbalance. The good news is that anxiety is treatable.
In addition to trusting the Lord and praying, treatment can range from making lifestyle changes (exercise, eating, and sleeping patterns) and correcting faulty thinking, to getting a medical evaluation, seeking counseling, and/or considering medication. Either way, spending time with Jesus is vital for healing.
While working in hospices, I was privileged to hear wisdom from people who were dying. Not once did any one of them encourage me to spend more time worrying. Instead, their words reflected clearer priorities. There were only regrets shared for wasting time worrying about appearances, dirty dishes, and promotions. Just as the Bible reminds us, I was reminded worrying would not add "one single hour" to anyone's life (Matthew 6:27).
Here are some questions to consider about anxiety:
How would you be living differently if you had less anxiety or fear in your life?
How often do you worry about problems more than you pray about them?
What can you do to add healthy relaxation to your life? It is impossible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time.
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