Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 17) - Overcoming Anxiety (Part G)


Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 17) - Overcoming Anxiety (Part G) 18. When possible, avoid people who cause stress in your life. A. Sinners and fools will vex your spirit (2Pe 2:7-8). B. A companion of fools will be destroyed (Pro 13:20). C. Sometimes it’s necessary to break off relationships or distance ourselves from people who are harmful to our mental health. D. You may need to stop talking to people (at least for a time) who cause you anxiety by the topics or problems they discuss with you. 19. Confess and forsake your known sins. A. One of the ways God punishes sinners is by appointing terror over them (Lev 26:14-16). i. Therefore, we ought to examine ourselves (2Co 13:5) and make sure that we are not suffering with fear or anxiety as a punishment from God. ii. If we continue to reject God’s call to repent and refuse to turn at the reproofs of His word, He will mock when our fear comes (Pro 1:22-27; Jdg 10:6-14). iii. That would be truly horrifying. B. If we confess and forsake our sins we will find forgiveness and mercy from God (1Jo 1:9; Pro 28:13). C. If we confess our sins, our heart will not condemn us, and we will have confidence toward God (1Jo 3:20-21). 20. Face your fears and do whatever the thing is that you are dreading which is causing your fear. A. For instance… i. When Jacob feared Esau, who was coming to meet him with an army of men, he took action and divided his people and animals into two bands to limit the potential damage (Gen 32:7). ii. When Joshua did what needed to be done and executed judgment on Achan, his anxiety went away, and he was strong again (Jos 7:25 – 8:3). B. I have found that taking care of the thing that I have been stressing about has helped much to alleviate anxiety. 21. Deal with your fears head-on. A. If you have an unrealistic fear of something, do it rather than avoiding it. For example: B. If you have a fear of germs... i. don't wash your hands after you use the bathroom. ii. don't wash your hands after you shake someone's hand. iii. pick up food off of the floor as soon as you drop it and eat it. iv. eat food a few days past the expiration date if it looks and smells okay. C. If you have a fear of leaving your door unlocked.... i. don't check the lock when you are pretty sure you locked it. ii. leave the door unlocked for a night. D. If you have a fear of talking with people, force yourself to introduce yourself to someone. E. If you have a fear of driving on snowy roads, do it. F. If you fear being rejected by women, ask one out on a date. If she turns you down, ask another one. 22. Dr. Claire Weekes’ four steps for overcoming nervous illness. A. Dr. Claire Weekes, author of “Hope and Help for Your Nerves,” recommends the following four steps to overcome anxiety and panic attacks. i. Facing – instead of running away from our fears, we need to face them. ii. Accepting – instead of fighting our fears and our body’s reaction to them, we need to accept them. iii. Floating – instead of resisting the nervous reactions of our body and trying to withdraw from them or force our way through them, we need to go with them and allow them to pass. iv. Letting time pass – instead of becoming impatient with time, we need to let it pass. B. In summary, when you start to experience the manifestations of anxiety such as increased heart rate, churning in your stomach, shortness of breath, etc., accept that it is happening to you, don’t allow yourself to fear the fear, and wait for it to subside. C. While waiting for it to subside, practice deep breathing which will have a calming effect on you. D. These four steps are essentially taught in the Bible, only under different terminology. i. Facing a. Facing is basically having courage to deal with your anxiety. b. The Bible exhorts us to have courage to face our fears (Deut 31:6; 1Ch 28:20; Psa 31:24). ii. Accepting a. Accepting is having humility to admit that we have a problem with fear. b. When we humble ourselves, God will lift us up (Jam 4:10). c. Humility is the path toward getting your life back (Pro 22:4). d. The Psalmist Asaph accepted that he was being afflicted with anxiety (Psa 77:10), which was the first step in overcoming his affliction. e. Jacob admitted his fear and prayed to God for deliverance (Gen 32:11). iii. Floating a. Floating is not fearing your initial fears, either before they come or at the moment they come. (i) The Bible repeatedly tells us to fear not and be not afraid (Jos 8:1; Jos 1:9; etc.). (ii) We are told to be not afraid of sudden fear (Pro 3:25). (iii) If you can train yourself to be not afraid when the initial fear happens, you can stop a panic/anxiety attack from happening. b. Floating is also casting our cares upon God (1Pe 5:7). iv. Letting time pass a. Letting time pass is the exercise of patience (Luk 21:19; 2Co 6:4; Col 1:11; Heb 12:1; Jam 1:3-4; Jam 5:10-11). b. Patience n. – 1. a. The suffering or enduring (of pain, trouble, or evil) with calmness and composure; the quality or capacity of so suffering or enduring. c. Wait on the LORD to deliver you from your anxiety (Psa 27:14). E. Some of Dr. Weekes’ recommendations to overcome anxiety and nervous illness. i. “Float past tension and fear. Float past unwelcome suggestions. Float, don’t fight. Go through the peak of experience with utter acceptance. Let more time pass.” (Claire Weekes, Hope and Help for Your Nerves, p. 40) ii. “This person must first find some solution or compromise for his problem, seeking advice where necessary; he must be prepared to cease fighting and float forward to recovery, accepting all the tricks his nerves play on him while attempting to lose himself in occupation.” (Ibid, p. 168) iii. “Never tell your relative to “fight it.” Tell him not to fight it, to accept it; to practice masterly inactivity and float past troublesome issues that cannot be resolved; to float past fear of the bodily sensations of his illness. He must float, not fight. This is the way!” (Ibid, p. 191)
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