Anxiety stinks! It’s a hard emotion because once it has a grasp of us, it doesn’t seem to want to let go. Are wondering how you will find anxiety relief?
Your story might go like this: Something challenging happened in your life, and anxiety invited its way in. The trigger point for the anxiety has been resolved, but your tension remains.
Or your story might be like mine: A lot of stress over the years brought it on. I was fine one day, had a panic attack, and then was ensnarled with this villain for years.
What Anxiety Does to Our Lives
When we imagine our lives or even imagine the short-term future, it wasn’t with anxiety. We never thought we’d be afraid to drive, to leave the house, to go to church or any other large public gathering.
But, here we are; stuck and wondering what we should do.
Somedays might be better in the level of the tension, but somehow it always hangs around.
We have spouses, kids, jobs, and friends, and having this unwanted emotion makes all of these facets of life so much harder.
Anxiety Grasps Our Focus
The reason for this is: our focus is self-directed.
It’s not like we enjoy all of this self-focus; it’s just what anxiety does to us. We try and redirect our attention to something else, but we keep getting reeled back in.
Anxiety at its core is fear. What we fear can be different, but many of us who have experienced anxiety have a great, big fear about losing control.
When we experience the bodily symptoms of a pounding heart or irrational thoughts, we feel like we won’t ever become victorious over this stronghold of anxiety. We become fearful, which only increases our anxiety.
This cycle takes over our lives.
We become good at attunement with our bodies. We live with conditions, don’t we?
If we feel a little anxious, we might wait and debate canceling whatever leads us out of our home. If we’re at work, we might try to stay, but fear finally demands we go home.
Thoughts bombard us, and we really start to question if we aren’t going crazy.
We become slaves to what anxiety tells us.
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The Core Problem with Anxiety
Here’s the thing: anxiety won’t ever go away if we don’t change our thoughts. We can try therapy, medication, and meditation, but if we allow ourselves to validate the thoughts anxiety sends us, we will be forever chained to it.
Let’s read an example from the life of Jehoshaphat. (If you’d like to read 2 Chronicles 17:1-21:1).
He was the king of Judah and was a God-fearing man. At the beginning of his life and reign, he deeply followed the Lord and was committed to Him.
As God blessed him, he got a little lackadaisical and allowed his daughter to marry the Israel King’s son (they were not God-fearing people).
In time, enemy nations were threatening to invade Judah, and Jehoshaphat allowed fear and thoughts of losing his reign, kingdom, life etc. overcome him.
He became anxious. Can you imagine the thoughts and fears bombarding him? He really did have a valid argument that he could lose control of everything under his rule.
How to Use God’s Word to Battle Anxiety
- Go to God in prayer right away, add fasting to set your attention on God and prayer.
- Replace your anxious thoughts to who God is. He is faithful, He is Creator, He is the victor.
- We need accountability when we are struggling with anxiety.
- Focus on God’s Words, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
- Distract yourself using worship and praise.
- In faith, believe God will help you.
- Visualize your victory.
- Rest in God’s peace.
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Here’s the truth: we’ve already gotten into a groove with anxiety and the habits surrounding it. So it doesn’t mean we do this one time, and anxiety won’t plague us ever again. The reality is: we live in a fallen world, and anxiety-producing circumstances will always be present.
As we follow the example of Jehoshaphat, we will see anxiety relief. Our thoughts will be fixed on God’s word, and fear won’t have an influence on us any longer.
Are you ready to start some habits to manage and decrease your anxiety? I have a free 21- day Reclaim Your Life from Anxiety email challenge.
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