What Does God Say About….Anxiety

Someone who struggles with anxiety tends to be so preoccupied with the future that they forget how to deal with the present situation.  They get stuck in the “what if” cycle.  Physical symptoms of anxiety include, but are not limited to nervousness, sleeplessness, headaches, difficulty in breathing, and excessive sweating.  None of these symptoms help to alleviate the problems of anxiety and worry.  These symptoms only make anxiety worse.

In Philippians 4:6-7 it is written, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  God does not want for us to worry.  We are to remember that God has a path for all of us.  Our stories are already written.  We might not always understand or enjoy the path we are on, but we are to remember that God already has it all worked out.

When all of the physical symptoms are taking over, however, how can a person possibly think about praying?  The best way to address immediate physical symptoms is through doing breathing exercises.  Breathing exercises are best learned in the context of a therapeutic relationship.  However, the basic idea is that the breathing needs to be slowed down.  The best way to do this is to breath in through the mouth and out through the nose, or vice versa.  There are more skills to be learned in this process, but doing this basic exercise will slow the breathing enough to be able to think a little more clearly.

It’s at this point that the anxiety and worry needs to be given to God.  As in the verse quoted above, God asks us to not worry.  A healthy therapeutic relationship will aide in guiding the exploration of the source of the anxiety and then the process of healing.

So, if you are struggling with anxiety, remember what it says in Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  Find a therapist today that can assist you in managing your symptoms so that you can spend time with God and heal the source of your anxiety.

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