This week’s Quote for Anxiety. “We must travel in the direction of our fear” by John Berryman.
Trying to escape or change directions to avoid our fears is actually just going to make matters worse. Applying brakes, doing U-turns in the road, stopping in the fast lane are all very dangerous. Go with your fear. You can even speak to your fear with words like “go on, do your worst to me, but I am not stopping!” The best way of conquering fear is to go with the fear.
A person who has a fear of elevators should get into the elevator, go up and down for as long as it takes for the fear to dissipate. It might be terrifying at first but actually the fear has no base in reality! Only by traveling in the same direction of our fear will we overcome that fear!
This week’s Quote for Anxiety: “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”
Anais Nin (1903 – 1977) French-born American writer.
What happens when someone is desperate for love, or very anxious to get someone to love them?
I can think of 4 things that many people do to get love, but usually end up with rejection.
Do you give others excessive compliments and at the same time put yourself down? Saying things like ‘I wish I could be clever like you. I’m just stupid.’ If you’re prone to doing this, you’ll have plenty more examples of your own! Unconsciously you’re hoping that these sorts of compliments will get the other person to love you. It’s more likely going to backfire. Excessive compliments don’t attract people, but make them feel uncomfortable and puts them off. In the end you feel unloved.
Some people desperate to be loved might test the relationships to the limit until they’re rejected. The rejection confirms that they were unlovable in the first place and confirms the self image of being unlovable. Sad but true!
Or the person might overwhelm the recipient of their love with so much attention that it becomes stifling for the other person who then bales out of the relationship – confirming the negative, unlovable self-image. Our behavior always matches our self-image.
Have you ever sought out people who are ‘not available’ or who are a bit rejecting? The unconscious belief is that there would be something wrong with a person who just accepts you as you are – it does not match your self-image.
Self love is actually very attractive to others and will draw others to you. Learn to love yourself. Getting involved in a wider range of interests can certainly help. If you focus on developing less intense relationships with a wider variety of ‘available’ people you won’t feel so desperate to get ‘love’.
We all want someone to love and someone who will also love us. Love is desirable but not a requirement for happiness. That would put our happiness under the control of someone else. And happiness is, after all, determined by our own thoughts, not by any outside event.
“I try not to worry about the future – so I take each day just one anxiety attack at a time.” Tom Wilson
Well, this really is great advice to take one day at a time, because it really is pointless worrying about the future. Why waste your time worrying, when whatever you’re worrying about might never happen!
Dealing with panic or anxiety attacks.
An anxiety or panic attack can be quite debilitating, especially as it can give rise to another anxiety, namely fear of having a panic attack.
But there is help… A panic attack is the physical response of having too much oxygen in your system. Think about it… when you panic you start hyperventilating, taking deep breaths. The excess oxygen in your system gives you all those sensations associated with panic attacks. So … you need to reduce the oxygen in your system.
One method is to breathe into a paper bag as that reduces the oxygen as you will start breathing in the exhaled carbon dioxide.
You will achieve the same affect if you just cup your hands over your nose and mouth as you breathe.
The second method is to monitor your breathing. As soon as you feel panicky, breathe in a short breath through your nose and exhale a long breath through your mouth.
When people tell you to calm down by taking a long deep breath, they’re actually giving you the wrong advice. This type of breathing will encourage the panic attack.
Stay focused in the present! Let me know if you have any favorite quotes for anxiety that you would like to share.
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25
The Book of Proverbs in the Bible contains wisdom sayings dating back to about 3000BC . Ancient thinkers recognized the orderliness of the world in which they lived. They tried to live in harmony with that set order as they understood that life would be much more enjoyable and fulfilling.
The quote for this week is so simple, yet so true. Anxiety certainly does weigh a person down. Worry often takes our imagination down all sorts of roads where it would be better off not to go.
“But a kind word cheers him up.” Why wait for a friend to share how their anxieties are weighing them down. Let’s be free and generous with our kind words! We sure know that the world needs these. Plan for this week to share kind and encouraging words with as many people as possible who come your way. You never know, the Lord might be sending an anxious person your way, just to hear your words of kindness!
If you would like more Biblical input about anxiety and its ‘close friend’ depression please click here.
“We cannot escape fear. We can only transform it into a companion that accompanies us on all our exciting adventures.” Susan Jeffers
Once upon a time in a nearby valley there lived some people. Now, these people never dared to move from their valley because whenever they tried to do so by climbing the surrounding hills, they were met by an enormous giant who roared at them most ferociously. They were so terrified that they ran back into their valley as fast as ever their legs could carry them …. Determined never to venture forth again.
This had been going on for hundreds of years until one day, a new and brave king was chosen from among them. And he thought to himself, ‘This simply isn’t good enough! We never meet new people, never develop our trade and never make new friends. Indeed we are becoming very dull, ignorant and boring.’ The new king decided to journey out of the valley and beyond the hills all by himself and in spite of all dangers. He set off out of the valley with some feelings of trepidation and expected the giant to appear at any moment. Sure enough the giant appeared, horribly enormous and roaring most ferociously.
However, instead of running away as all of his people had done before, the king took one step forward. To his amazement the giant became one inch shorter. Thus encouraged, the king took one step forward. Eventually, when the king came right up to the giant he was so small that the king could hold him in his hand. The king then asked the giant his name. The giant replied. ‘My name is fear.’
The moral of the story?
Face your fears. That’s the only way to get rid of them, despite all the panicky feelings involved. Avoidance maintains the anxiety. Ask yourself, do you want to be like the King or the villagers?
This week’s quote for anxiety comes from Richard Carlson. His quote is a very good answer to the question ‘What is Fear”
“Fear is the concern over events that might happen in the future – we won’t have enough money, our children will get into trouble , we will get old and die, whatever.”
Somehow these fears seem to be worse at night and can even keep us awake at night, fretting. If you have a concern that’s causing you anxiety, keeping you awake, keep a pen and notebook by your bed, write down the concern and go back to sleep! Writing can STOP the mind from getting too carried away!
Name your fear!
The good news is that if you can ‘name’ your fear, you are half-way towards making an action plan for overcoming the fear. An action plan is very important!
‘Fearing that you won’t have enough money’ in the future is a concern especially in the present economic climate. But fear on its own won’t get you money. Sit down and make a plan and do the best that you can to allay these fears.
‘Our children will get into trouble’. This fear might come true, but your fear is certainly not going to affect the outcome for your children. This fear only causes you, the parent, unhappiness. Do the best you can at parenting your kids and when fear comes knocking on your door, tell it to take a hike! Even when you do your best for your children, in the end they are responsible for their behavior, not you!
‘We will get old and die’ No point in fearing this because we know that just as surely as we are born so we are going to die. Ask yourself what exactly it is about getting old and dying do you fear. Work out the specifics, because that is the only way to address your fears.
Have a good week and stay focused in THE PRESENT!!
“To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present” Richard Carlson
To conquer anxiety, it can help by asking yourself, what exactly are you afraid of. So many people say they don’t know but they just feel anxiety all the time. Just remember that anxiety has to do with future events and an unrealistic fear of future events.
Thoughts rush through your mind. Maybe thoughts like: “No point in going for the job interview, I know I’ll never get the job”. “No point going to that party, I probably won’t know anyone there anyway.”
The truth is that no-one does know what will happen in the future, let alone in the next hour or so, so it is better to stop predicting the future. When you find yourself negatively predicting the future, which by the way, is a source of anxiety, rein in your thoughts to the present, to reality!
Richard Carlson writes words of wisdom when he says “To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present”