Why Anxiety Might be the Best Gift You Receive This Christmas

 

A guest post by Reclaimed Beauty (Heidi Dennis) 

Yes, you read that right.  I called anxiety a gift.  No, I am not crazy.  No, I have not been drinking too much egg nog.  I think anxiety (much like anger) has gotten a bad rap in comparison to it’s other emotional peers.  Allow me to explain…when we are experiencing anxiety, it’s our body’s way of telling us that we have a need- much like our stomach growling is our body’s way of telling us it’s time to chow down.  Too many times we ignore anxiety by trying to push it away.  Let me ask you something, what would happen if your tried to “push away” the feeling of hunger when your stomach growled?  Would it work?  Absolutely not!  In fact, your stomach would actually start to growl LOUDER.  No matter how many times you push it away, until you meet that need, your stomach will continue to sound like a “hangry” bear who is about two seconds away from throating punching someone over a bag of Cheetos.

Anxiety works the same way.  When you start to feel anxious, what if it’s your body’s way of telling you that you need something?  It may be telling you that you have too much going on.  It may be trying to tell you that you need a break.  Most often, it’s telling you that you are trying to control something that is out of your control (for more on that, see The Circle Talk in the Resources section of the Tangible Truth website).  Too often, we try to grab at more control when we are anxious.  Or, we try to push the anxiety back down.  My motto for ANY emotion is “up, not down”.  This means that we need to let that emotion up and release it instead of shoving it back down.  Trust me when I say that any time you try to stuff any emotion down, it will find it’s way back up and it won’t be pretty (for a mental picture- try to imagine me attempting to stuff myself into a pair of leggings that are five sizes too small.  Believe me, things will find their way out and it won’t be pretty).  As you let it up naturally, it’s a whole lot more manageable and it just might give you insight into something you are needing.

Whatever the need is, I would challenge you to be curious about it.  Ask what it’s trying to tell you.  Pray over the thing that you are anxious about and make the conscious choice to release it.  You don’t have any control over it anyway, no matter how much you would like to think that you do.  So, the next time you’re given the “gift” of anxiety, don’t grab the gift receipt and try to return it as soon as possible.  Let it up, respond to the underlying need driving it, and then release it.  You might be surprised at how differently you feel.

What about you?  How have you responded to anxiety in the past?  What has worked for you and what hasn’t?  You might help someone out with your insights!  Comment below.

…And, speaking of anxiety producing topics, next I am going to write a series called “I Think I Married the Wrong Person”.  So, buckle up for the ride! (…deep breaths…)

 

Heidi Dennis is a Licensed Professional Counselor at the Joshua Center and wife and mom to a precious little boy. 

10 thoughts on “Why Anxiety Might be the Best Gift You Receive This Christmas

    I would love to hear how others have managed their anxiety. What are some “tips” that have helped you release anxiety? Please comment

    I have struggled with anxiety usually in the form of claustrophobia. When I find myself in tight spaces like a car or airplane, engaging in conversation with someone about something that holds my interest, especially my family, helps ease my fear and panic. It’s embarrassing, but not debilitating!

    I have several ways to manage my anxiety. First I always try and speak “be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication”. I’ve learned to be humble in the ask or need that I have. Secondly, I use sensory skills, instead of suppressing I will grab some lotion and use the scents to destress or distract. I use cold water to run over my wrists which calms my heart rate when super anxious. Most importantly, I try to move to the logical side of my brain to find reasoning when I’m struggling with anxiety!

    I absolutely love this Salinda! Practically speaking, our bodies get ramped up when we feel anxious (part of the fight or flight to protect us from danger). When we aren’t in danger it makes sense to do things that physically calm our bodies down. Great ideas!

    Love your blogs !

    Public speaking used to be so bad for me that I would create an emergency to miss the speaking engagement . And If forced to speak I was under heavy medication and was usually carried off stage or have no memory of what I said , until others informed me :(((
    Being scared did not fit my personality but after self therapy I realized it happened overnight when I got divorced . Getting divorced somehow made me so insecure I lost all my confidence since I couldn’t figure out why he would cheat on me :)) . Once I identified why I felt insecure I had to work to rebuild myself .. I can now say I can do public speaking without any warning , no medication , and no passing out . I am confident in who I am now which brought back the real me that was MIA for 14 years .

    And boy do I have some divorcee stories from marrying the wrong person . But I am stronger now and know who I am . Funny that I thought I knew it all at age 17 !!!

    Happy holidays Heidi , I want to be you when I grow up !

    Wow! Your story is truly an inspiration! Overcoming such a huge obstacle lets others know they can do the same. It’s amazing how seeing yourself in a new light can change so much. I want to be YOU when I grow up 😁

    Hi Heidi, I ran across Tangible Truth Ministries a little over a month ago. That day, I listened to several of Mrs. Susan’s videos. I tell you, it gave me such reassurance to listen on the different topics, that when there were no current post I was like what am I going to do. I am a Christian, however I struggle with anxiety so bad that it is debilitating. I did listen one series on Addicted to Anxiety and was honestly shocked that they were other people that struggle in this way. But I had fallen into a pit of honestly feeling hopeless. I had even sent my husband a text one night recently telling him I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was in such darkness and just screaming for help. I know Jesus is my only way, but I just wanted y’all to know this isn’t a small ministry you are providing. I have even found myself talking to myself when I feel those feelings saying “that’s not in my circle”. I know this is not a problem that’s going to go away overnight, but I wanted y’all to know I’m glad y’all are here

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing! That is truly my heart in all of this- letting people know that they aren’t alone. Feeling like you are the only one struggling with something can seem completely hopeless. But there is an entire community of people who struggle with the same thing and can support each other through it. Being open like you have been is the first step ❤️

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