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I, like many others across the world, live with anxiety. I was recently diagnosed with it, and I’m still coming to terms with it. Sometimes there are days where anxiety doesn’t plague my mind, while on other days, it’s hard to escape from it. If anyone else has ever felt the despair and utter uncertainty that comes with anxiety, you’re not alone. If you’ve ever had the symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, shaking, dread,  or panic and even the feeling that you’ll be attacked by someone or something, take heart and remember that there is nothing wrong with you. You’re still not alone. God is with you even in the midst of your anxiety. Those aforementioned symptoms are only some of the symptoms I experience almost daily. It has taken a lot of courage to open up about my struggle with anxiety, but God has put it on my heart to share my story to help others.

Anxiety causes me to think constantly about the what-ifs of situations. Have you ever had moments where you’re thinking, “If I go somewhere with a friend today, will I get in an accident because I’m not a good enough driver?”, or “Will I pass this test, or even pass this course?” How about one such as, “I just don’t feel like being around people. I need to cancel my plans with my family tonight. I know I’ll disappoint them if I cancel, but with the way I’m feeling I have no choice.” If you’ve ever thought any of those things, don’t blame yourself or be too hard on yourself. Some days are harder than others when dealing with anxiety.

It takes courage to admit that you have anxiety and it also takes courage to face it head-on. You may not think you can ever beat it or get over it, but you can. There are many things that you can do to overcome, or at least better manage your anxiety. Talk about it, rather than hide it in shame. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you have a problem. There is something empowering about admitting that you have a problem and being willing to reach out to others to overcome it. Who knows, someone could have a similar experience. Finding out that someone else goes through the same anxiety that you go through, gives you the courage to openly speak to them about it, to see how they best handle it for themselves.

Being open and honest about your struggles also gives you the opportunity to confide in someone and maybe even start a lifelong friendship with that person. Some of the best friendships start in the most unexpected places. Take the chance and share your story. Who knows how many people your story could impact.

You can then offer your own take on how to combat anxiety. When you tell your story, you’re letting others know that they aren’t alone. Who knows your story might inspire others to come forward about their own journey. Even if you’re nervous about sharing your story, remember how many others have been down that road. Your journey is unique and so are you as an individual. Don’t let your anxiety define who you are or the choices you make.

If you’re dealing with even a little bit of anxiety, I encourage you to talk to someone, anyone. It can be your pastor, your parents, friends, your grandparents, your brother, or your sister. Most importantly, talk to God about it. Tell Him what you’re feeling. Tell yourself that you can beat whatever thoughts are weighing you down. Remember, you are in control of your mind. Your anxiety doesn’t control you. God is the one that’s in control of your life. You have a choice. You can let anxiety control you by giving in to it. You can get out of your anxious thoughts if you tell yourself that you’re a strong person and that you’re of a sound mind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Just because you struggle with anxiety, doesn’t make you any less human or less of God’s child. He loves you just the way you are.  Speak scripture over your anxiety and it should lessen.

Anxiety sometimes stems from the fear that you’re just not good enough to do something, or that no matter how many times you try, you’re constantly worried that you’ll fail. You don’t have to do that to yourself. That thought that you’re going to fail yet again, or that you did fail at something, is playing right into the anxiety itself. It only adds more pressure on you that is completely unneeded, unnecessary and it isn’t healthy for you, either.

Playing into the fear of failure is also painful to recover from. Remember, no matter how many times you fail, every failure is a lesson worth learning from. Every failure is an opportunity to grow and change into the person you want to be. You have the power to take hold of any anxiety that might plague you. and look at yourself in the mirror saying. “I’m not going to let my anxiety control my life. Not today.”

Never underestimate the power that God has in your life. Ask Him to help you look at your anxiety in a positive way instead of feeling the dread that comes along with it. Remember, you “can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” Philippians 4:13. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds you not to be anxious about anything. You’re a strong, courageous person. Don’t let your anxiety define who you are or who you can become.

 

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