Anxiety Word Cloud

Taken from original post, August 17, 2015, by Teri McClanahan

 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. Philippians 4:6-7

Anxiety, it just stops your life. – Amanda Seyfried

When I am faced with something that has an uncertain outcome I get a nervous feeling in my stomach, a sick feeling, and my breathing becomes shallow.  Depending on the situation, I might even break into a sweat.  I become singularly focused on the situation, to the expense of everything else.  I immediately start to calculate or plan a means to resolve the situation – fight or flight!

No one likes to feel anxious.  We all seek a state of peace.  Yet feelings of anxiety are part of our sympathetic nervous system and tell our brain that something is wrong.  It tells us that something dangerous is in our space and we either need to stand and fight or run.  It readies the muscles in our body to prepare for the response, to defend itself.

All of our emotions serve a purpose: Anxiety mobilizes you.  When your brain senses danger, your sympathetic nervous system gets triggered.  Your body increases its production of adrenaline, your heart rate increases and your blood flow is redirected to the large muscles in your body in preparation.

If there was a wild bear or fire, that would be a perfect response. What if you’re waiting for the outcome of a medical scan?  I’ve learned this phenomenon is called Scanxiety  – the term coined for the pre-test and post-test fear that many patients diagnosed with cancer face, or any other major illness.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Cancer survivors live with scanxiety in some form or another more frequently than they wish.  It’s particularly true for those recently diagnosed and or living through their first five years of remission.  I’m in my first five year period and I wonder at least once a week if it will come back, when and how I will know.  Every strange feeling in my body is shrouded by fears of its return.  Every blood test and scan is filled with anxiety.  Since I wasn’t sick when diagnosed, I have nothing to reference.

Modern therapists have contrived ways to address anxiety from medication to mental maneuvers such as imagery and meditation.  For sure, I have been known to try some of these – distracting myself by dancing, reading a book or watching TV.  I’ve made lists of things for which I’m grateful to take my mind off those things that add nothing to my being.

The best cure I have for anxiety is to utilize a time-tested practice taught to me from my elders – prayer and supplication.  My family has a history of a deep and devoted prayer life.  I, being a modern woman, didn’t give much thought to it until I faced a deadly health issue.  I couldn’t think my way out of that.  I couldn’t imagine the worst case and create an action plan.  I couldn’t distract myself – I was paralyzed.

So, I turned back to a remedy that served my elders down over the years – I turned it over to Jesus.  I embarked on a daily prayer, meditation praise and worship ritual with the sole focus of seeking the peace and understanding that comes with a relationship God through Jesus Christ.  And I found it.

What to do when these emotions overcome you?  Here is the ritual that I employ each morning:

  1. Read the bible for 10-15 minutes
  2. Pick a healing scripture and meditate on it for another 5 minutes
  3. Make an entry in my prayer journal
  4. Listen to my favorite Christian music

I’m a morning person, but it could be done anytime of the day.  The key is that you start the process of building the relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.  Seek his peace and understanding in all matters, especially your health.  I also eliminated as much negativity and evil from my life as possible.  I created an atmosphere open to God’s peace and healing.  When anxiety comes upon me, I go into my ritual.  I don’t always have time to flow through it all, but I can meditate on my healing scriptures and/or listen to my praise music.  It always takes me to the place of peace and healing.

What I know for sure – what you put into you, becomes you.  If you fill yourself with the word of God, know and understand his promises, follow the commands of Jesus Christ, accept his love and unmerited favor, you will find peace.  The next time you find yourself in the middle of an anxiety attack, give it Jesus.  He will work it out.

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Teri McClanahan is a Spiritual Cancer Coach, committed to you living a life of power, purpose and passion.

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