Monday, July 4, 2022

How to Overcome Anxiety

Replace Anxiety with Peace

Editor’s note: May is Mental Health Awareness month, and so we here at The King’s Collective have teamed with The King’s University’s Marriage and Family Therapy department to bring you some great articles about issues related to mental health.

Anxiety is about worries, concerns, fears, and the feeling that you are not adequate for the task of coping with the world around you. According to the Bible, belief in God is about complete trust and faith. When we have full confidence in the Lord, anxiety will not exist. Anxiety means war is happening in our inner spirit, so we need to check our faith. Our thoughts and behaviors interact to create chaos and anxiety, so we need to check our faith. Worry and anxiety are Satan’s tools he uses to make us fearful, sick, broken, and mentally and physically miserable. In “Overcoming Anxiety with Peace,” Dr. David Jeremiah tells us how to overcome anxiety. He says that “God allows problems in our lives to show us His strength in the midst of our troubles. God does not make the crisis disappear, but He shows us that He is enough during our tribulations.”

Literally, the more faith you have in Jesus Christ, the less time and energy you will waste worrying, being afraid or acting apprehensive. God has a plan for all of us, that truth could aid in us relinquishing our fear and worries to the Lord.

Here are a few strategies from various sources we can use to gain peace and overcome anxiety.

1) Pray proactively. Worship and praise the Lord and be grateful during times of tribulation; this is when we grow and mature.

2) Make determined, definite choices about what you allow to enter your mind because your thought life is the launching pad for your outward life. Max Lucado says, “You can pick what you ponder.” Our brain is the most valuable weapon for deterring anxiety, and we can control what we are pondering.

3) Live in the present. Don’t dwell on the past or wish for the future. Your past is just a mere memory, and it cannot be changed except through your perspective lens. Your future only exists in your imagination. The present is the actual reality. Live your life for today. What are you called to do today?

4) Forgive everyone and everything. When you forgive, you rise above emotional and physical pain. Don’t carry your bitterness around, don’t gossip, and don’t get offended. Ask God to show you who you need to forgive and who you need to ask for forgiveness.

How to Calm Down in Moments of Panic

We are all human and occasionally experience apprehension or anxiety. When you are suffering from angst, doubt, or dread, here are a few ways to calm down those jitters. 

1. This five-step exercise from, Behavioral Health Partners Blog, and other techniques from Healthline Blog, are beneficial during periods of anxiety or panic by helping to ground you in the present. Pay attention to your breathing. Slow, deep, long breaths can help you maintain a sense of calm or help you return to a calmer state.

            5: Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. 

            4: Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. 

            3: Acknowledge THREE things you can hear.

            2: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. 

            1: Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. 

2. Put your hands in water. Focus on the water’s temperature and how it feels on your fingertips, palms, and the backs of your hands. Does it feel the same in each part of your hand? Does it feel different to switch from cold to warm water versus warm to cold? Use warm water first, then cold. Next, try cold water first, then warm.

3. Pick up or touch items near you. Are the things you feel soft or hard? Heavy or light? Warm or cool? Focus on the texture and color of each item. Instead of simply red or blue, challenge yourself to think of specific colors, such as crimson, burgundy, indigo, or turquoise.

4. Take a short walk. Concentrate on your steps — you can even count them. Notice the rhythm of your footsteps and how it feels to put your foot on the ground and then lift it again.

The strife of the world today can cause us to lose sight of where God is leading us as Christians. Pray for peace, offer peace, and stay rooted in the word so that the anxiety can not overcome your faith. 

References:

Jeremiah, D. (2021, July). The Shoes of Peace. The Armor of God. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acq2t90fEa0

Raypole, C. (2019, May 24). 30 Grounding Techniques to Quiet Distressing Thoughts. Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding-techniques#physical-techniques  

Smith, S. (2018, April 10). 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique for Anxiety – URMC. Behavioral Health Partners Blog.Retrieved from:  https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/behavioral-health-partners/bhp-blog/april-2018/5-4-3-2-1-coping-technique-for-anxiety.aspx

This article was written by TKU Master of Marriage and Family student March Bezanson and Dr. Cassie Reid.

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Dr. Cassie Reid
Dr. Cassie Reidhttp://www.tku.edu
Dr. Cassie Reid is associate professor of counseling and director of the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program at The King's University in Southlake, Texas.