A Lot of People Do Not Understand Anxiety.
Until my Mom passed away eleven years ago, I didn’t understand people who struggled with anxiety. This is going to sound horrible, but I thought people who were visibly struggling with anxiety were just seeking attention.
And then my Mom was killed by a drunk driver. That night as my cousin drove me across the state to the hospital, to see my Dad (who’s condition was severe and unknown at the time) I experienced my first panic attack.
Luckily for me, a long time passed before I dealt with anxiety again. To be sure, I dealt with sadness and grief but intense and sudden anxiety was not something I dealt with on a regular basis.
Until I had children. And then suddenly the weight of having the responsibility to protect and nurture two souls in my hands came crashing down. And because of what had happened to my Mom, I knew horrible things could happen suddenly out of the blue for seemingly no reason.
I recall my husband and I driving down the highway a while back and I became overwhelmed with the thoughts in my head. I had just seen something horrible on the news about a young lady being hurt and for some reason could not get that idea out of my head. I started crying. Hard. And of course, my husband was feeling helpless and surprised by my sudden breakdown over a news clip. Luckily, he was so sweet and helped me calm down.
Living in a Blended Family isn’t Easy. Neither is Being a Mom.
Before having children, I would worry about bad things happening. But, it’s a lot different to worry or be concerned about yourself and then to suddenly to have another precious life to protect.
On top of being a parent, living in a blended family can be really tough.
For that matter, just being a part of any family can be really tough.
My step-daughter has been dealing with emotional and behavior issues since long before I knew her, but this past year she was at a breaking point. She had been dealing with feelings of abandonment and anger…and taking them out on others. In fact, that is why she came to live with us, but the change of environment didn’t change her feelings. In fact, they only intensified those feelings because now she had to deal with her dad having a new wife and soon after that a little sibling to share the limelight with.
We Live in a Scary World.
And of course, we regularly see in the news people being hurt in one shape or form constantly.
To watch the news and see how people in the Middle East are being terrorized and to also see that terror spreading to our country scared me. To imagine my daughters growing up in this kind of world breaks my heart.
All of this piled on top of one another is just heartbreaking and overwhelming to me at times.
Feeling Like I was at a Breaking Point.
The day that I broke down in the car, it so happened that we were on the way to see somebody I really respect. He reminded me of Romans 8:28. And that is helping me to get my head back on straight. I still sometimes deal with moments of feeling overwhelmed by the gravity of how it is important to be a parent, but I am trying to focus on the following verses to keep my head above water, so to speak.
Discouragement Led to Anxiety
For me, I have realized that I struggle with anxiety when I am feeling discouraged about something. Discouragement is defined as feeling disheartened or being deprived of courage or confidence. It also can feel a bit like hopelessness.
Often times I will start to feel discouraged about something in my life. Feeling like things are not going to change for the better. Then I will start to feel overwhelmed by too many obligations and responsibilities. These two feelings together suddenly meld into one feeling – anxiety.
Are You Also Feeling Discouraged or Anxious?
Can you relate to what I have been feeling?
Have you ever felt discouraged or anxious? Is it something that you struggle with on a regular basis?
It seems that in this modern world a lot of other people besides myself are dealing with anxiety and discouragement.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States. That is 18 percent. Basically, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. deal with anxiety or depression. That’s a lot!
The ADAA also states that a person with an anxiety disorder is also likely to struggle with depression. Half of the people who have been diagnosed as having depression are also diagnosed with having an anxiety disorder.
What To Do About Anxiety
- Slow down and take a deep breath.
- Take a walk.
- Take a yoga class.
- Meditate on scriptures.
- Practice relaxation strategies.
- Get a massage.
- Take deep breathes.
- Count to 10.
- Use essential oils aromatically, topically, or internally.
- Take care of your body and mind.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit your caffeine and alcohol.
- Make time to read the Bible regularly if not daily.
- Allow yourself to rest and try to get a good amount of sleep.
- Keep a journal. Pay attention to what could be anxiety triggers.
- Laugh. Watch a funny movie. Look at funny memes.
- Get help.
- Talk to a friend, pastor, or counselor.
- Join a support group.
What I am Doing for My Anxiety
I have been focusing on a few things lately to help with my discouragement and anxiety.
- I am taking slow deep breaths when I start to feel overwhelmed.
- During stressful times I am praying constantly.
- Using essential oils topically and aromatically.
- Trying to diffuse situations before they get out of hand.
- Focusing on key scriptures to get my head in a positive state of mind.
4 Encouraging Verses for Discouragement and Anxiety
Here are a few verses that I have been focusing on. I hope they can help you too.
Take the following verses to heart. Read them. And read them again. Pick at least one that speaks to your heart and focus on it. Make it your mantra. When those negative feelings of discouragement and anxiety weigh down on you read these verses, take deep breathes, and most importantly pray.
1. Romans 8:28
2. Philippians 4:8
3. John 14:27
4. John 16:33
Peace and Contentment
After meditating on these verses for a few days I have started to feel peace in my heart again. Yes, we live in a scary and beyond messed up world, but we have a hope greater that!
Anxiety Bible Study Coming Soon!
To help myself get through this particular period of anxiety I studied the Bible. I am putting together what I found in a workbook. I am close to publishing this study and I would love to share it with you and I hope it can help you. If you are interested in that study make sure to sign up for the newsletter for updates. I expect this study to be complete in the next few weeks if not sooner.
Update: Check out this post to subscribe to get your copy of “How to Cope with the Anxiety of Motherhood”!
In the meantime, I have put together a printable to help you get started with your Bible study. Get your Freebie: 4 Verses about Discouragement and Anxiety by clicking the pink button below.