Written by Inside Out with Courtnaye
Have you ever felt anxious? Are you there now? Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or uneasiness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Does that sound or feel familiar to you right now?
Anxiety can feel unsettling and scary. It’s actually very closely related to fear and escalated distress. Years ago, I used to get panic attacks often. They would come on all of a sudden. I would experience a strong sense of anxiety and start hyperventilating. It often made me feel like I was about to have a heart attack (and I didn’t know 100% why?).
I’ll never forget one night, I had an immediate panic attack. I asked my husband to bring me to the Emergency Room right away! Well, as soon as we walked through the doors of the ER, I started thinking about the medical bill and told my husband, “You know what? I’m good. Let’s get out of here!”
Guess what, sis? That night, after I got back home from the hospital, I called my mom to tell her what happened and the first question she asked me was, “What were you thinking about before the panic attack happened?” It was like an “Ah ha!” moment – a divine question! I know today, that was the Lord showing me the root cause of the problem – my thoughts.
I’d let my thoughts run rampant. I’d become immediately anxious about what I was thinking about before the anxiety attack, so much so, that it caused a panic within me that made me feel like I was having a heart attack. NOT!
It’s our thoughts, sis.
I realized that night that instead of having a heart attack, I was really having a mental attack, which caused my body and emotional state to react. So I’ll ask you the same question. If you’re feeling anxious right now, what are you thinking about? Better yet, what are you meditating on or letting marinate or fester in your mind? If you reflect back to your last anxiety attack or anxious feeling, what were you mulling over in your mind?
Anxiety typically starts with a negative or unexpected action, maybe some bad or unsettling news. There is always a trigger point. So, think about it. Because I would guess that when things are good, you’re probably good – your thoughts are at peace. But when something triggers your anxiety or you get alone or in your head, most likely that’s when negative or fearful thoughts can start rummaging through your mind. That’s when you can start reacting either fidgety, nervous, or your heart begins to race. Sometimes it has the opposite effect and can have you feeling depressed.
With depression comes discouragement and sometimes “dark” thoughts. When they creep in, that’s when you have to say, “Whoa! No. I’m not going to allow myself to go there.” You have to stop it, quickly. Don’t let it fester.
Some people go as far as suicidal thoughts, which are dangerously dark. And you definitely don’t want to go there. Remember, you only have one life to live, so live it until the Lord says it’s over, because it does get better.
In a nutshell, dealing with our thoughts is how we deal with our anxiety. So the next time you feel anxious, my sister, start praying and ask the Lord to calm your mind, fears, worries, and anxiety. Ask Him to settle your mind and pray this passage of Scripture found in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”
So fix your thoughts on Him and receive His perfect peace, sis. Also, know that sometimes His peace will come supernaturally (right when you ask for it), but other times it will come as you steal away to a quiet place like Jesus did when He went away to be alone with the Father to pray.
Also, as I prepare to close this post, a few practical ways to experience peace is to steal away to a hot shower or bubble bath while listening to some instrumental worship. Another way is to go away into your bedroom, shut the door, and simply lie down in the quiet (even if that means putting on an eye mask and/or earplugs for a bit – I do that from time to time). NOTE: If you have smaller kids, please have your older kids, hubby, a babysitter, grandparent, to keep watch. 😉 And then meditate on Psalm 4:8, “In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
I pray that this post has ministered to you today. If you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety at this time, pray. Prayer is so crucial. It’s emotion-changing. Truly.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTIONS: Again, are you feeling a little anxious today? Have you prayed about it? Do you need to talk to someone about it? How do you typically deal with your anxiety when you start feeling anxious? Is this a normal struggle for you or occasional?
*Also, need prayer? If so, write it out here or you can email me directly to join you in prayer on it @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.