Rampant Fear and Anxiety: Part Two — Solutions
In my last blog we looked at many possible reasons people live with anxiety and fear. No matter what the cause, we need to find some solutions to these issues. Here are some ideas that were shared with me as well as some of my own.
- No one should have to live with debilitating fear and anxiety. If you are living like that, get help! My husband, the therapist, sees lots of people that come in with these symptoms. He teaches biofeedback and relaxation techniques that really help people learn to calm their own bodies.
- Many times, fear and anxiety are linked to past trauma. These days there are wonderful healing therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Look for specialists in EDMR or others who identify as a specialist in trauma or anxiety.
- PTSD is triggered when a predictable set of occurrences happen at one time: A person, or situation that seemed safe, suddenly becomes unsafe. Something startles you, and at some point, you think you might die. This causes anxiety and fear to get “stuck” in the animal (fight or flight) part of your brain. The above mentioned therapies can help move the trauma to the logic part of your brain where it can be processed and healed.
- I think meditative practices are a huge part of reducing anxiety and fear. One of my favorite Bible Verses says “Don’t be anxious about anything, but instead present your requests to God, with thanksgiving, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6)
When I was in my first job post college, I often felt anxious at night. A Muslim friend gave me a set of prayer beads. I don’t know how they are officially supposed to be used, but they had about five small beads, separated by a big bead, all the way around. So, I took the above verse literally and would pray out my concerns on the small beads and then thank God for something on the big beads. I often woke up with those beads wrapped around my ankle because I’d fallen asleep while praying. We worry with our hearts and our minds so I think that verse helps put those two places to rest.
- In my opinion, one of the most commons things that cause stress is having a calendar with no margin – that is, no room for contingencies. I learned the hard way that life is what happens in the margins, and if you have no margin in your schedule, then when life happens (the car breaks down, your mom needs your help, a child’s project is due…) there is no room and everything becomes stressful. I’d encourage a strong examination of your schedule with a trusted advisor to see how to create margin in your life.
- In the book, Freefall to Fly, but Rebekah Lions, she discusses how anxiety is keeping women (and I’d suggest men) from realizing their potential. She shares how she overcame a debilitating anxiety disorder.
- The best short term cure for anxiety is to get your mind off yourself. Anything you can do to think outside of yourself will help. Call a friend, take the dog for a walk, gaze on something beautiful, serve the homeless, or go to a funny movie. All of these things will help, at least temporarily. I made a vblog for my teenage friends on releasing endorphins that can give ideas.
Let me know what you have found helpful in getting rid of your fear and anxiety!