Ways to Control Anxiety
An Experimental Task
I want you to get a partner whom you know and trust. Then, he or she should blindfold you. Then, you would make three full in-place turns with his or her assistance. After that, he or she would bring you to a spot or area. Once you regain your balance, he or she should detach from you. Then as soon as he or she left, you have to make three steps forward.
- Did you accomplish making three steps while being blindfolded?
- What made you complete the task?
- How did you feel every time you make the steps?
What is anxiety?
I think I don't need to source out its definition. Perhaps you could define it by yourself after having done or even just internalizing the experimental task and answering the questions. Indeed, it gives you an idea about what anxiety is.
However, for the benefit of the doubt, let me cite Sanne Van Rooij, Ph.D. and Anais Stenson, Ph.D. on their words about anxiety. According to them, it is an excessive fear or worries about the future. And, this could have negative behavioral and emotional consequences.
Let us take the experimental task. I am sure that making steps without seeing causes us to be fearful and worried. We fear getting hurt as we make the steps or worry about where we are heading since we don't have sight of what's around. As a result, we become skeptical and uneasy about every step we make. Likewise to having anxiety, since we do not know what lies ahead, we tend to create our versions of the future. Unfortunately, we mostly come up with a negative turn-around of events; consequently, we start to have fears and worries. And, as we dwell on this for a longer time, we then develop anxiety in our mind where we become, uneasy, irritable and nervous.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
What Causes Anxiety?
Still anchored on our experimental task, there are only two significant causes of anxiety:
Lack of Trust
In the said task, you need to get a partner whom you know and trust. But did you trust him or her enough? I am sure that the person you chose loves you and would not harm you. So, why fear or worry?
Thus, it is our lack of trust in ourselves, others, and most especially in God why we still worry about tomorrow.
Lack of Faith
Why do you think you fear to take steps in the said task?
The future is uncertain. We have no hold of it. We do not know what will happen in the next seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years. For sure, we have plans, and I know we do our best to work it out. However, we have no control over the circumstances. And, this fact makes us worry because we want to control things which we don't have. Moreover, it will become complicated when we don't believe that good thing will happen amidst the uncertainties of life. Lastly, since we don't have hold of it, we make up unpleasant future instances.
So, if we don't believe that everything will be fine, we will be restless and anxious.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.— Philippians 4:6-7
Aside from having a healthy lifestyle to maintain mental and physical health, overcoming it is the reverse of its causes. However, it is not as simple as it is. It is an inside battle.
Learn to Trust
Whom will you trust?
You can trust yourself, your friend and the people around you. But there is no assurance that they will always be trustworthy. Time will come that they will change. However, only one person does not change, that is, God.
Whatever, you are going through, He is always there for you. He will never abandon you. You are like precious minerals which need refinement (trials and hardships). After which, you will turn out to gold (best version of yourself). So, trust in Him.
Remember that God's plan for us does not harm us but to prosper us and to give us hope and future. So, wherever we will be on our journey, we should trust in Him.
Be faithful to His words. It will keep you going. Only through prayers, we boost our faith and trust in Him. So, set aside time to talk to Him in silence. Seek Him in your deepest part as you close your eyes. Surrender to Him all your worries and fears. Only Him and your faith could heal it.
Let go and Let God
It is when we let go we exercise our faith. Accept that we cannot control what will happen around us. Know that what we can control are our actions and reactions. So, do not overthink. Only surrender to God and walk by faith.
Sometimes, random thoughts would pop out in our head. There are thoughts we can shrug off. But there are some we cannot ignore. Usually, they are the unpleasant ones. So, when you are caught up with such thought, you should learn to knock it off. It can be by diverting your attention, telling yourself to stop it, or saying a prayer. I know you can control your thoughts. You are strong! Overcoming anxiety is possible. You can make it!
If everything fails - your family, your friends, yourself and the rest of the world, you have nothing to grip but your trust in God and your faith in His words and promises. Learn to let go and be strong!
© 2018 Jason Behm