It feels like you’re fainting or having a stroke. You feel your anxiety rising inside of you. It seems like everything you can think of is fear. Everything you notice is your tunnel-type vision. All of a sudden you stop breathing.
An immensely intense heat seems to be setting your body on fire – it’s so hot, you’ve never felt such a heat before, it’s feels like the room you’re in has claustrophobic proportions. “Am I just loosing my mind?”
plural noun: anxieties
“a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks.”
Lately I’ve been reading Daniel Goldman’s Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
While I was reading it I stumbled upon a Chapter in which Goleman talks about anxiety. Now I don’t wanna anticipate the content about what he was talking, but let me tell you this guys: psychologists unknowingly confirmed the Bibles teaching about figthing anxiety through words.
How does anxiety actually look like?
»…Maybe I’m not doing it right. Maybe they’re just making it seem as if it wouldn’t give us the hint to this problem, but it’s this hint we need in order to get to the root of the problem… If we don’t get to the root of the problem, I won’t convalesce. And if I don’t convalesce, I’ll never be happy again…«
Anxiety attacks are chronical, repetitive worries. They always seem to do a 360, go round in circles in our mind and they have all attributes for an emotional attack: every single time you have an anxiety attack a certain center in the limbic brain, which is responsible for every feeling you have, whether it’s love or anger, is declaring a state of emergency. As a consequence the limbic system takes over the control of the rest of the brain and the neocortex, which is responsible for rational thinking. The neocortex doesn’t even get the chance to get an overview of what is going on. In other words,for you it seems as if the attacks come out of nowhere. All your worries seem to be out of control, creating a constant feeling of fear, being rationally inaccessible and forcing your mind to focus on your worry.
Short form: your worries are running amok.
But, what’s the difference between worries and concerns ?
Let me tell you the difference: Concerns make you think about a problem – by this I mean a constructive consideration of the problem that can actually lead to a solution. Concerns always result in reaction. They fix a part of your attention to the threat in front of you and force your mind to find a solution for it while it‘s ignoring everything else around you.
Worries neither bring us a solution, nor do they help us see the problem from a different perspective. On a neurological level it seems like the limbic system’s having deficiencies in flexibly reacting to changed circumstances.
The Bible – a scientifically proven treatment for anxiety?
In Goleman‘s book Thomas D. Borkovec – a former psychologist at the Pennsylvania State University – states, that once anxiety sneeks in it automatically takes roots in our minds, just like it always does:
1. Borkovec says the first way to treat anxiety and panic attacks is through mindfulness. You need to recognize those disaster imaginations as soon as possible. Either right when they start, or immediately after (1) by recognizing pointers for your anxiety and (2) by learning to recognize which situations cause your anxiety and the thoughts and imaginations through which you start worrying and end up getting attacks from.
2. The second – and to us more interesting way proven by Borkovec to overcome anxiety is to…. fight those thoughts. Borkovec says that you need to critically question them. He says that those questioning thoughts make your brain recognize the problem in the limbic system on the one hand and fight the signals the emotional brain’s you sending in your whole body on the other
NOW C’MON!!!! You read this? The only way to treat anxiety is by fighting those thoughts. Oh yaaaaaas.
If you know the Bible you know this is the very way God tells us to fight evil thoughts. This is the exact way. You know, there’s this one passage in the Bible in which Jesus was tempted by the enemy and this is the passage in which Jesus showed us the power of the word. Lemme just give tell you what I’m talking about:
The Scripture I’m referring to is
Matthew 4:1-11, ESV
»Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God…’ «
I know, I know. You may ask yourself “what the heck is she talking about? Jesus was not dealing with anxiety in this passage.” I got you, my friend. I actually believe this passage is universal, meaning whatever situation/problem we’re facing, no matter what thoughts the enemy’s attacking us with, this passage is our instruction no matter how bad the attacks get and no matter what kind of attacks these are. If you’ll read the whole passage you might discover the 2 things I discovered: The first thing is that Jesus was tempted, He was tried and He can fully sympathize because He knows just what it’s like to live this life. And because of that He does know what it’s like to live with anxiety and panick attacks. And you know what? In this very passage He showed us the key elements to fighting anxiety: believing and speaking God’s word over yourself. This is just one, but the most specific Bible passage talking about fighting thoughts.
You see, on the one hand we have Goleman’s book published in 1995, and on the other hand we have the words of the Bible written centuries before. What Goleman and Borkovec call the treatment for anxiety has been proven right even before they found it out. God is so good! And although they say you should (just) question those thoughts I’d say you shouldn’t just question them, but replace them with the truth that is the word of God. There’s no word in the world that’s more powerful, more true, more healing and freeing than the word of God.
And you know what?
Here are 9 Bible Verses to fight your anxiety
– All verses are from the ESV translation –
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Psalm 34:10 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swellings.”
Psalm 139:2 “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.”
Joshua 1:9 “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.”
Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Psalm 21:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
1.Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
“The less you fight your anxiety the more those thoughts will become true to your mind. By questioning them you hinder them to become (your) truth.”
– Daniel Goleman