Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A New Look at Anxiety and What to Do About It

Anxiety has gotten a bad rap in society. Millions of people suffer from a variety of so-called anxiety-based illnesses and health care providers throw anti-depressants at their patients as an all-purpose panacea.

In the fear-driven world we live in, anxiety can keep us from achieving our goals and fulfilling our destiny. Yet, what is really going on here? Today we'll talk about a different way to view anxiety, what it stems from, and the signs we need to look out for.

First of all, anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about, okay? Except in extreme cases, anxiety is a normal reaction that something is not right in our lives. There are numerous situations and circumstances that can provoke an anxious response and it varies with different people. Sometimes situations, if left unaddressed, can build up and cause physical illness.The body reacts to what the mind is dealing with and anxiety is a creation of the mind.

Anxiety is a close relative of fear. Its other relatives include worry, doubt, and overwhelm. Anxiety is rooted in the core belief of self-doubt and that we are incapable of handling the circumstances of life. Anxiety is often a learned behavior. Many, including myself, learned to be anxious, from our parents. It also came from being brought up in a volatile, chaotic, alcoholic home where nothing was stable. For many years, my mom declared "I'm a worrier", as if it were a badge of honor. In her golden years, she has moved from worry into peace, trust, and confidence. So what happened?

Studies have shown that the way we think forms neural pathways in our brains and the more we think in a certain way, the deeper these grooves go. The good news is it is possible to retrain and remold our brains when we retrain our thinking. Here is an article on retraining our brain.

Anxiety can be our friend but like any friend, we have to set our limits with it. There is a message in our anxiety and rather than medicating the feeling away, a healthier approach is to understand what the root cause of the feeling is. Do we have too much to do? Are we stressed about our finances? A relationship? Are we afraid to speak in public? Confront others? There is a multitude of reasons why we feel anxious and it is up to us to figure out the root cause and then take action to address it, rather than pop a pill or take a drink.

So what are some of the signs we are anxious? Here are just a few.
1) talk too much and too fast
2) rushing from task to task
3) feeling out of control and overwhelmed
4) eating too much
5) insomnia
6) inability to relax
7) frequent headaches or digestion issues

Next week we'll talk about how we can handle this emotion in a healthier way.

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Until next time, stay tuned in and keep looking up!