How to Defeat Anxiety – Even in Extreme Situations
Did you know anxiety and the prescriptions for anxiety are causing an upswing in the number of cases of Alzheimer’s in young people? Does that concern you?
How do we defeat anxiety today for a better tomorrow?
Anxiety is common in today’s world. And I’m not just talking about the novel coronavirus world. Anxiousness existed pervasively before daily death statistics reporting, massive job losses, and ordered isolation. Or maybe you’re one of those people on the front line, working even more now than you did before.
Perhaps you’ve dealt with anxiety for years. Or you’re dealing with anxiety and fear for the first time in your life. At least to the level you are now. Either way, there is hope and there are answers.
You can beat anxiety!
Don’t feel like you can beat the anxiety threatening to take over your life? Feel like there’s no way you can be at peace, no matter what you try? Don’t give up or lose heart!
There is a way. There is help. And it’s not as far away or complicated as you may think.
The first step to defeating anxiety is to understand what’s going on in your body. Anxiety starts in the mind…and in the gut. Both of these areas need to be addressed to conquer anxiety.
Anxious Thinking Leads to…
We have thoughts racing through our minds all the time. What we think becomes the foundation for our beliefs. Our beliefs, in turn, influence our behavior. Our behavior – our choices – lead to results: either positive or negative.
Let’s take weight loss as an example. (Since we are focused on health, after all!)
- The thought: You think that it’s too hard to lose weight. Whether you’re aware of this thought or not, it becomes your belief.
- The belief: If you believe losing weight is too hard, or even impossible, you act on that belief.
- The behavior: You eat whatever you want. You do whatever you feel like.
- The result: Obviously, you gain weight (or at a minimum, don’t lose any) and prove your belief correct.
In the Covid-19 world we’re currently living in, your old anxieties, or new ones, have come to the surface. You have anxiety about the virus.
- The thought: You think that you’ll get the virus and if you do, you’ll die.
- The belief: The virus is deadly and my fear and anxiety are justified.
- The behavior: You live in fear. Make all your decisions based on fear. You’re afraid of your family, friends, and church family. Afraid to leave your house, even for essential items. You’re impatient, angry, and/or lash out at others.
- The Result: You have difficulty sleeping, you’re unsure about ordering food from the store, you have trouble digesting food, and have an upset stomach. For women, their menstrual cycles may be altered. Relationships are fractured. Your blood pressure may become consistently elevated. You feel tired and foggy all the time.
There’s a reason the stomach is one of the most prominent areas you’ll have problems with when experiencing anxiety. Anxiety is a gut-mind connection problem.
How to deal with Anxiety…with Food?
What you’re eating can feed the fear and anxiety or lessen the fear and anxiety.
Let me say that again.
What you’re eating – the food choices you’re making during times of anxiety – affect your anxiety. Certain foods fuel anxiety, like adding gasoline to a fire. Other foods extinguish the flames of anxiety.
Food nourishes or starves the neurons necessary for your mind to correctly process the information you are gathering in regard to this virus, or anything that’s disturbing you.
As you know, if you follow me on Facebook, our new Podcast, or on YouTube, I’m the queen of fiber. Healthy fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut. This sends signals to your mind to release chemicals that bring calm, clarity, and better adaptability.
Want to know the one thing you can do to bolster your resistance to stress and anxiety? Fill your diet with good fiber and protein.
Want to know something else you can do to reduce your body’s tendency to produce chemicals that increase stress and anxiety? Reduce the amount of sugar and processed foods you’re eating.
There you are. Two simple steps anyone can take.
But, wait. There’s more!
5 Steps – How to Stop Anxiety…with God
While making changes in our diet – working on the gut half of the gut-mind connection – is important, being intentional about making changes to your thought processes is equally, if not more essential.
Remember how we talked about the things we think leading to beliefs, beliefs leading to behaviors, and behaviors bringing about results? Then, of course, waging the battle of our minds is necessary.
You can win this battle, victoriously defeating anxiety today with these 5 steps.
1 – Check your thoughts
Do your thoughts line up with God’s Word. God is your Provider. The Lord is your Comforter. He loves you with an everlasting love. He knows you’re going out and you’re coming in. And He is offering you the choice of taking hold of a blessing or a curse. Anything you think that’s contrary to these truths is a lie!
If you think, “He isn’t taking care of me. I am afraid. I don’t have an income. I’m lonely,” write these statements down. All of them. Don’t critique them. Just download all your thoughts. Then see which ones line up with the truth according to God’s Word. Which ones do you want to keep? Which ones are you done with? Those things you don’t want to think anymore and believe, scratch through them and say, “No more!”
2 – Change your thoughts
Transform your thoughts, making them words of agreement with God’s Word. Turn scripture into personal praise. Right now, during this crisis, speak the Word out loud. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Personalize this. “I love Annette with an everlasting love.” Insert your name in this verse and other verses God leads you to. God’s Word is active and alive and able to transform you.
3 – Breathe through your thoughts
Each time a thought comes in your mind, take a moment to breathe in deeply 3 times. Let your shoulders rise. Let your diaphragm stretch. Then, if the thought is a lie, swat it away like a mosquito! Then take several more breaths, speaking God’s Word as you release each breath. “I have loved with an everlasting love.”
4 – Feed your good thoughts
Literally. Follow my grocery discoveries, either on Facebook or YouTube. They will stimulate your taste buds for some delicious foods. Foods that will build a healthy microbiome will, in turn, feed the neurons that tell your brain, “Hey, we got this. Don’t fret. Today is going to be an AMEN day!”
5 – Starve your bad thoughts
Sugars and processed foods create havoc in your brain and lead to the inability to think clearly. They escalate symptoms of anxiety and starve the microbiome which feeds your brain health. So, physically starve your bad thoughts by not feeding them sugars. Spiritually starve your bad thoughts by writing them down and destroying the paper (fire, trash, shredder, etc.) and banishing the thoughts. Declare to them, “You’re not welcome here anymore!”
Declare Anxiety Defeated
Remember – just as we are physical, we are spiritual. Just as we are spiritual, we are physical.
Thoughts allowed to linger become our beliefs.
Beliefs determine our behavior. Our behavior is based 100% on our beliefs.
Our behavior determines the outcome. The results.
What do you want to be the outcome of this situation? Do you want to look back and say:
- I was so scared I stayed in bed and ate ice cream every day.
- I gained 10 pounds and my face broke out with acne.
- My marriage fell apart.
- My kids drove me crazy.
OR, do you want to say, I:
- learned how to beat anxiety.
- discovered how to eliminate unhealthy fear.
- built a habit of going to God’s Word for comfort.
- learned how to eat healthy during extreme circumstances and I know I can continue to do this for the rest of my life.
- lost weight and loved it!
- learned God has a plan and purpose during crises.
Which outcome do you want? Choose to think, eat, and live today in such a way that will produce that outcome.
I’d love to hear how God’s working in you and drawing you closer to Him during this time. What is He teaching you about health and His Word? Let me know what He’s doing and how I can help.
Join me on this journey and discover the abundance God has for you!