Anxiety, we’ve all felt it. The knot in your stomach, turning thoughts over and over in your head. Wondering if you said the right thing, offended someone, or if you should have said or done something different to change what did or didn’t happen. Remember when you used the wrong word and your friend got mad at you? The knot in your stomach grew larger and that night when you were trying to sleep all you can think about is that conversation. How the friends face looked when you made that statement. What you could have said differently, or how you should have stayed quiet. Your mind simply won’t quiet down, and your stomach hurts more. Your whole body is tense, but you’re so used to it you barely notice. Have you ever been so anxious that you get physically sick? You’re not alone, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety. That is a lot of people!

God knows that we are anxious. He understands that we worry constantly about things we can’t control. He tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…” And 1 Peter 5:7 says, “ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.“ Not only are you not the only person on earth who feels anxious, but God is with you through all that anxiety. Remembering to thank Him for the good things in your life can help keep your mind focused on the positive #attitudeofgratitude. It helps keeps your mind from spinning on the negative.

When your brain doesn’t dampen the fear response from that tiny piece of your brain, called the amygdala, that causes the fear and you’re more likely to be anxious. Sometimes a learned behavior from trauma causes anxiety.

I hear you over there thinking in your head “I trust Jesus. I cast my cares upon him all the time but I’m still anxious, do I not trust Jesus enough?” Maybe you have full blown anxiety attacks or panic attacks, it’s ok to still feel that way. It doesn’t mean you trust Jesus less than your neighbor.

There are many ways to deal with that anxiety. Replacing anxiety provoking thoughts by claiming God’s truths and promises is one thing that can help. God also gave us doctors who can guide us through therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) it’s the most effective and more effective than medication in the long term. Also, some have been helped by anti-anxiety medication. Long term success over anxiety is mind management, CBT is the most effective tool for ongoing success. Make time to Exercise, practice breathing, positive self-talk, and talk to someone about how you’re feeling; There are no simple answers and often a combination of these things works better than one could by itself. You can take steps to manage your anxiety and not let your anxiety manage you. Take the first step and join today. Find a therapist or join a support group. You are not stuck; you can enact change.

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