park bench/anxiety

Six truths about anxiety

There are six truths, that if we know them, help us keep anxiety under control. But before that……….

I love Proverbs. If I could practice even half of what is contained in this book, I would be the smartest, most industrious, and kindest person in the world. Alas. All I can do is read them every day and keep on trying.

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 12: 25
Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.

First, it’s a universal experience.

Everybody feels unrealistic anxiety at times. We all feel fear and fear is the foundation for anxiety. You can’t be anxious without being afraid. Fear is probably the most universal feeling in the world. I’ve never met a person who never felt unrealistic fear.

We fear all kinds of things and we shouldn’t judge anyone’s fears. I’m afraid to walk on bridges over water but am not afraid of snakes, for example. You might be just the opposite. There is usually no rationale.

Secondy, we’re all victims

Not only is anxiety universal and we’ve all felt it but we’ve also fallen victim to it. Is there anyone reading this who hasn’t allowed anxiety to disrupt their lives at some point? If there is someone, I envy you. But most of us, have had those times when our anxiety has been bad enough to stop us in our tracks.

Third, anxiety isn’t fatal.

As horrible as anxiety feels, it isn’t fatal. Yes, a panic attack might well make us think we are dying. We can’t breathe. The elephant sitting on our chest feels like it’s going to crush the life out of us. We feel like we are suffocating. But no one has ever died from a panic or anxiety attack. It eventually subsides. This is an important truth about anxiety but when you’re in the middle of an attack, it helps to know this.

Fourth, it’s manageable.

Anxiety can be managed. There are hundreds of ways to manage anxiety. In the menu above, you will see a heading that reads “Anxiety tips.” There are lots of ideas there. One of my favorite tips for dealing with anxiety and depression is distraction. That means you just start doing something different, usually something trivial. Just start moving and see if there’s something that attracts your attention enough to prompt some sort of activity. Even just moving things around on your desk or tabletop can stark another action.

Fifth, It responds to simple strategies.

Distraction is one of those simple strategies but even deep breathing works. Here’s a link to show you how to do it. Walking is another simple strategy. Talking to someone about anything works as well.

Sixth, the Bible addresses it.

Of all the six truths, this one is the one that packs the most powerful punch. God knows how fragile we humans are and there are more verses than I can list here that refer to fear. And remember, you can’t experience anxiety without first experiencing fear. ‘

There is also something called meta fear, which means you fear feeling fear. Seriously. And guess, what? The Bible addresses that, too. Proverbs 3:25-26

Do not be afraid of sudden danger,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
 For the Lord will be  your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.

There is no question that anxiety feels awful. But the fear of it can make it even worse. Remember, you will live through it. Sometimes fighting it works, but other times it’s better to just give in to it, knowing it really is temporary.

I hope you have an anxiety-free day. I pray daily for a number of people in my life who struggle with it. God bless and trust your Heavenly Father so see you through to the other side.