Recently, I wrote a post about my personal struggle with physical affliction. So many people wrote to me about how that little post encouraged them, and asked for suggestions on how to cope with their struggles and afflictions.
The reality is we all have various struggles and afflictions, that is just the way it is. If you are not struggling with something in life, you might want to have a brain scan because real life is messy and involves pain and suffering.
But the pain and suffering does not have to be our main focus.
We can choose to rejoice in Yehovah even in the storms of life. But how do we handle the day to day, and trust in a God that sometimes seems to be so far away?
A friend stopped by the other day and was asking me these questions. She struggles with anxiety attacks, sometimes called panic attacks, or adrenaline attacks. She asked me how I over came the cycle of bipolar disorder. That was a loaded question, but I would like to share some of the simple and practical tools I have learned over the years.
First, I had to change my mind set. Just because I was tired, and overwhelmed didn’t mean I was depressed. Every doctor I saw as a young woman always wanted to diagnosis every symptom I had as depression and/or anxiety. Being told over and over that I was depressed, made me indeed, depressed. But the truth is I wasn’t depressed, I was anemic, I was tired, my hormones were out of wack, and my thyroid wasn’t working properly. These are not symptoms of depression. These are physical ailments.
So, number one:
Just because you feel physically unwell, doesn’t mean you are depressed!
Next, I had to learn that even though my body would go into these panic attacks that it didn’t mean I was anxious or upset about anything. Panic attacks are caused by our body being out of balance in some way. Yes, they can start from a trauma or being over stressed, but they are not truly “panic attacks.” I wasn’t in a panic when they came on, my body was just trying to reset itself.
Panic attacks are NOT a sign that I am anxious or stressed!
The next thing I had to realize was that trauma and stress do cause our bodies to go into “Panic” mode, so I needed to learn how to handle trauma and eliminate stress when possible. I had to learn to say no to things, and pick and choose the activities that best helped me stay in a stable place health wise.
Learn to say no!
I had to learn how to rest and trust that others can do things that I thought only I could do.
Rest and Trust!
I had to recognize when my body wasn’t going to be able to do the things I had planned to do. I had to learn to delegate.
Sometimes those panic attacks still come over my body, and instead of getting more anxious because my body seems to be betraying me, I have learned breathing techniques that help me calm and center my body and brain, so I can quickly recover from the attack. Taking some deep breaths in and out can change just about any situation.
Lastly, I had to realize my identity in my Messiah. When I realized and believed that I have a sound mind in Christ then I could claim that truth every time, those fears and anxieties tried to creep into my mind.
Claim your identity in Christ!
Written by Katie
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