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Dealing with Anxiety

by Filoiann Wiedenhoff  
11/14/2007 / Self Help

Do you struggle with Anxiety? I want to encourage you that you are not alone. It is more common than people realize. First we want to look at what anxiety is before we can address how to deal with anxiety. A summarized definition of anxiety is: Having a uneasy, overwhelmed, apprehensive, fearful, concerned, and worrisome state of mind with the feeling of inadequacy to cope.

Anxiety also affects us internally to where we can become physically ill if untreated. There are different levels of anxiety but we will be dealing with anxiety in general. If you feel you are dealing with severe anxiety I encourage you to see a doctor who can give you a full diagnosis.

Now that we have established what anxiety is, we now have to look at the core of the problem which is what causes anxiety. The key of understanding the cause for anxiety is in the above summarized definition which is that it is a "state of mind". The root of having any particular state of mind begins with our thoughts. Our thoughts whether good or bad lead our mind into a direction, and how much thought that goes into that particular direction affects not only our minds, but our point of view, our feelings and our emotions and that can then turn into our actions or reactions.

For example; A professional NFL football player injures his knee and was told that he had to sit out for a few football games to heal. His mind went from sitting out a few games to the coach putting him on second string to he's going to be fired from the NFL to he's going to lose his car and his house because he can't pay the bills to his wife will probably leave him and take his children to he'll be alone and homeless with no one around.

This poor guy went from hearing that he needed to sit out a few games and let his mind roam to him being homeless and lonely living off the streets. all over a matter of a few minutes. He allowed negative self talk scenarios lead him down a path that caused him to be anxiety filled and panic stricken. Although this is an extreme example this situation is more common than we want to admit.

So how can we deal with anxiety and negative self talk scenarios that lead us to anxiety? We can start off by accepting the fact that we need to re-program our minds on how we respond to the negative thoughts that enter in and practice using tools through the Word of God to combat those thoughts.

To begin, always begin with prayer and ask God to help you through what ever trial you are going through so remember to pray before during and after. (Phillipians.4:6-7)

I'm going to share helpful tools on how you can prevent those thoughts from turning into anxiety. Here are five preventative measures you can use:

1. Restrain your Thoughts: When the wrong thoughts come into our minds that are negative and untrue, we are to remove them and take them captive by not allowing them to run free but restrain and remove them by not entertaining or dwelling on them. Simply put "Don't Go There!" (2 Cor 10:5-6)

2. Redirect Your Thinking: Redirecting your thoughts means to change your thoughts that are not true and negative to thoughts that are true and biblical as it is said in (Phillipians 4:8) This passage says to think thoughts that are noble, right, pure, lovely etc. Memorize this scripture and ask yourself if your thoughts are true or are they being carried away in the negative self talk scenarios. Re-direct your thoughts to the Word of God and your mindset will begin to change. (Phil 4:8)

3. Renew Your Mind: With any habit we want to change we not only need to stop the cycle but replace the bad habit with a good habit. This is where we practice renewing our minds by memorizing scripture and replacing negative thoughts with thoughts that are edifying, pure, holy etc.We need to replace those thoughts with thoughts that are true through scripture memorization as mentioned in #1 by reciting a scripture or by spending time in the Word. It's amazing how our thoughts can change when we read scripture. Renewing our minds takes constant practice but as we create a new habit we will find the old one is left far behind and far away from us. (Romans 12:2)

4. Redefine your Priorities: One other issue that causes anxiety is feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks or thoughts at once. To help alleviate this problem; you can sit down and write it out 1. What's a real problem and what's not. 2. Sort out your concerns and prioritize them. 3. Weed out what's not important by either delegating it or putting it on a separate list to do. 4. Narrow down your list and focus on one task at a time and do the most important ones first..

Focusing on one task at a time will help you to not feel so overwhelmed and at the same time will organize your thoughts as well as your tasks into a doable plan and help you regain your ability to cope.

5. Carry it Out: Now that you know that these thoughts are not good and do harm you need to follow through with what you know is true and take them captive, remove them, don't entertain them and replace them with good and pure thoughts. Changing our behavior takes practice and as you work on this faithfully you will have a new habit and renewed mind before you know it. (James 1:25)
If you do these things with prayer and by faith God will provide His strength in the midst of your weakness and give you the power to overcome for our victory comes from Him.

Scripture References:

(2 Cor 10:5-6) "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thobught to make it obedient to Christ."

(Phil 4:8) "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things."

(Romans 12:2) "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is his good, pleasing and perfect will"

(James 1:25) "But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it he will be blessed in what he does."

Filoiann M. Wiedenhoff is a pastor's wife,work at home mom, Womans Biblical Counselor, Bible Teacher and Writer. View her website for more articles

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