It was never God’s intent for us to live in a state of high alert and anxiety at all times. Anxiety is a normal “fight or flight” response which was meant to keep us out of trouble in times of danger. Adrenaline is released so that we can make a decision to fight or to flee. However, millions of people experience anxiety when there’s no real threat. Persistent anxiety and fear can result in illness.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27 / KJV)
How To Deal With Anxiety
Counseling and the use of pharmaceuticals are two effective ways of addressing and treating anxiety. Beneficial lifestyle choices to help reduce anxiety may also include:
(1) Nutrition – Reduce caffeine, sugar, and dairy. Eat more fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, and fiber.
(2) Supplements – If lacking in GABA, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the central nervous system, anxiety can result. Eating citrus fruits, nuts, greens, and bananas can increase its production. GABA can also be found in supplement form. Omega 3’s can protect against depression. 5HTP, an amino acid used in the production of serotonin, helps with anxiety and depression. Magnesium calms the nervous system. Munch on cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and even dark chocolate for some extra magnesium. Chamomile, Melatonin and Valerian root are excellent herbs for reducing tension and helping with sleepless nights.
(3) Exercise – Move to get your blood circulating. Studies indicate sitting for long periods can increase anxiety levels.
(4) Aromatherapy / Relaxation – Soaking in a warm bath with essential oils (lavender, jasmine, ylang-ylang, bergamot), listening to soothing music, reading a good book, or spending time with nature can reduce anxiety.
(5) Prayer and Biblical Meditation – Read a passage of Scripture. Study it. Think about it. Spend time simply thinking about the verse throughout your day. Think about it as you are going to sleep.
In the midst of anxiety, it can be hard to focus on God or prayer. But prayer will settle and quiet our mind and spirit.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 / KJV)
Prayer is not only helpful immediately, but a study published in the 2012 International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine indicated that prayer’s effect on depression and anxiety was found to have a positive influence one year after prayer intervention. At one month and one year post-prayer, there was less depression and anxiety, more optimism, and greater spiritual experience.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 / KJV)
How do you deal with anxiety in your life?