7 Strategies to Overcoming Anxiety and Panic Attacks
You Can Overcome panic attacks and anxiety!
That is great news to those who suffer day in and day out, year in and year out. I have and I know that you can too.
For me it started with heart palpitations. My thoughts immediately steered to fear. Then my throat would become dry so I could not swallow. Then my body would feel "weird". Dizziness and blurred vision. By this time I was convinced that I was about to die. I kept waiting for the symptoms to get worse and they did. I use to suffer from panic attacks so badly that I had to go to the hospital by ambulance. I was so embarrassed when the doctor checked me and told me that there was nothing wrong with me. When I had to go grocery shopping I would get a funny feeling in my stomach before I left the house. Once I got inside the grocery store I felt like I had to run out or else I would become overwhelmed. I dreaded the thought that I might have a panic attack in public. I had to talk to myself and prayed up and down each and every aisle of the store. I knew that if I ran out, my family would not have food and I would have to start all over again. The people in the store had no idea the personal torture I was experiencing. People at church had no idea how hard it was to sit in a large crowd.
AWARENESS When the symptoms first started, I had no idea what was happening to me. One day I was watching T.V. and some people were on a show talking about the symptoms and the light went on, "That's me! That's what I have been going through". That was the beginning of my healing! Knowledge is power. I thank God that He allowed me to turn to the channel and hear those people talking. I also helped me to know that I was not alone. I suppose that those of you who suffer from the effects of anxiety are glad to hear that you are not alone.
Steps to Overcoming
1) READ Read as much as possible about anxiety and understand what are some of the causes. (Email me for link to books).
2)PROFESSIONAL HELP Go to a counselor or therapist to get to the bottom of the anxiety. The physical discomforts are trying to get your attention - Pay attention to a greater dis-ease within. Pray for God to send you to the right person. He will.
3)RELAXATION Listen to a tape or CD for RELAXATION This was one of the things that helped me tremendously. I needed to reprogram my mind with positive and true statements that were life giving and empowering. Click below for CD's and cassette tapes to help you overcome anxiety and panic attacks. Breathing correctly is a part of relaxation.
4) EXERCISE Physical excercise has tremendous value. It releases chemicals that generate good feelings, called pheromones. It's good to feel good!
5) HEALING IN GOD'S WORD Meditate on scriptures that enhance your trust in God. One scripture that helps me when I really let it sink in is: Matthew 5:25-34. Am I not more than a bird to God? You better believe it and so are you! Birds don't work or store up food yet God takes care of them. Wow! The next time you see a bird think about that!
6) MAP YOUR JOURNEY Create a time line by drawing on a sheet of paper when your first signs of discomfort started. Write down what major events happened at that same time. Note the year/date. Go back as far as you can. This process helps you to take a bird's eye view of your life. When I did this exercise, I found that the first time I experienced a full panic attack was in 1984 and I had just made a major move from someone very dear to me. I also discovered that there agoraphobia before any panic attack ever appeared. Do this it will help you understand what has been going on and what triggers extreme anxiety. (You may need to use than one piece of paper).
7)God's Power to Heal
Remember,God still heals. We must let go of all the passed disappointments, and betrayals. God is not like any human being with whom we have had a relationship. God faithful and just. Jesus walked this earth so you can talk to Him about yours trials. Pray as the early disciples did, "Lord, increase my faith". FAITH is the opposite of anxiety. Faith not only pleases God but keeps us trusting in God's fatherly care. I am a witness!! Praise God!
If just one person is helped by this article, I will have accomplished what God set me out to do -Help someone along our earthly journey.
Pray for me. I will pray for you.
Glenda M. Thomas, Editor of Sister 2 Sister Newsletter
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