Inside: Want to know how they heal from anxiety and find anxiety relief? Panic Away was a helpful tool for me, but God was my ultimate healer.
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It was a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and the cup holders of my car were filled with Kleenexes. My head felt cloudy, and cotton balls must have been in my ears because I was having a hard time hearing.
The parenting class I was teaching was set to begin in an hour, so I hurried the hour-long drive to avoid being late. When I got there in the waiting room, the fluorescent lights were causing me to feel light-headed.
After the class, I headed home, but still felt off. When I got to a busy intersection, my heart starting beating out of my chest, my hands got sweaty, and everything seemed to spin. Whatever was happening to my body was scary, but I managed to finish the drive and get home.
For the next few months, these symptoms and more symptoms appeared, and my whole life changed.
What I had experienced was a panic attack, though it wouldn’t be diagnosed for a few years.
Fear of another attack would be my daily issue, and the greater fear of it happening away from home kept me homebound and unable to drive for almost a year.
Anxiety is a common human emotion to stressful circumstances. A test, getting married, having surgery are all valid situations where anxiety is normal.
The problem is when anxiety becomes a part of your everyday life. When there’s no situation to expect anxiety, and yet it remains and affects your life; it’s become an anxiety disorder.
1 in 4 adults in the United States has an anxiety disorder. That’s 40 million adults with an anxiety disorder.1
Living with an anxiety disorder becomes all-consuming. The anxiety sufferer just wants it to go away and for someone or something just help them.
Desperation settles in.
I can’t do this anymore.
I don’t want to do this anymore.
At this point, I would try anything to make it stop and find some anxiety relief.
SOS, help me get back to real life!
When Anxiety Lingers and Remains
Honestly, I felt like I was clawing at anything to get myself back. I ferociously read the internet, books, and talked to people. If I found something that worked for someone, I’d try it. What about this? I’d try that too.
When my anxiety remained, I became depressed because obviously, I thought I would never be cured.
God, why won’t you cured me? Why aren’t you helping me?Here’s the core truth: healing from an anxiety disorder is multi-faceted. What works for one person won’t work with another because God made us unique. #anxiety #anxietyrelief Click To Tweet
We might need to try:
- Diet Changes
- Re-thinking/ Re-modeling
- Inner-child healing
God Needs to Be Part of the Healing
I had to use all of these in combination with a huge piece that was missing from most regimens: the power and presence of God in the process of healing. God has a reason for it and a timetable for our healing.
Panic Away by Barry McDonagh was a helpful book to me when I was struggling in the midst of anxiety.
I found tools to use in the middle of a panic attack and ways to refocus and let my body experience what my mind feared. Only by going through can we make strides to overcoming.
“Principle of treatment can be summarized as: Facing, Accepting, Floating, and Letting time pass”~Claire Weekes, Hope and Help for Your Nerves
My Review of Panic Away
The pros of this book were:
Easy and quick results that are simple to remember. Little reading and more putting the tools into practice. Less focus or affect (desensitization) of bodily thoughts and symptoms. Help with driving, social events, and flying. Sections on Panic at night, morning anxiety, and generalized anxiety.
My analytical mind initially felt like it was too easy a concept to try. This book is secular, but I truly believe God is a cornerstone part of the process of healing anxiety.
What Does Long-term Anxiety Relief Look Like?
An anxiety disorder could disappear on its own, but realistically, it will be a part of our lives if we let the fear of it stay forefront.
I asked my therapist a few years ago if someone ever truly gets rid of it, and she said it remains in the past unless we let it come back into our lives.
When we use all our coping strategies, realize it’s our body reacting to the fear our minds focus on, and let time pass as we trust in God, accepting setbacks as part of the journey, we will heal from anxiety.
His peace is available to us even when we are in the throes of anxiety! If you need a prayer to get you through the anxious moments, here’s my post about it.
(2 Thessalonians 3:16, NLT).
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
*if your anxiety is affecting the quality of your life, please see a healthcare professional.