Anxiety is an epidemic in our society. It ranks as the number one mental health problem for women and number two for men. While reading an excellent book on anxiety, I came across the author’s Twelve Steps to Personal Empowerment for Anxiety Sufferers and wanted to share:
1. Claim your strength in Christ. Claim promises from God’s Word.
2. Feel the power that Christ gives you. Move beyond the cognitive. Let Christ’s power seep into your bones and lift your courage.
3. Take control of your fear. The difference between panic and recovery is that recovered sufferers have overcome their fear of panic.
4. Drop the “what-ifs” in your life. Change your attitude to “so what?”
5. Overcome your personal passivity. Anxiety doesn’t take your control away; you surrender it.
6. Increase your power by finding out all you can about your disorder. Knowledge and understanding are your allies. This is true of medications too. You know your body better than anyone. Don’t let “experts” push you around. You be the expert.
7. Don’t be demoralized by helplessness. Remember, knowledge is the key to overcoming feelings of helplessness, so learn all you can about anxiety disorder.
8. Be compassionate toward yourself. Too many sufferers are their own worst enemies. Don’t self-accuse (“I’m stupid,” etc.).
9. Don’t let your problem dominate your life. Relegate it to a secondary position and give priority to living.
10. Beware the pitfalls of self-pity. Instead of saying, “Woe is me!” try saying, “What can I do about it?”
11. Find a good support group. A group of understanding peers can help build your personal power. Isolation frets.
12. Never, never, never, never give up. Remember Sir Winston Churchill’s call to the people of Britain at the height of their despair under Hitler’s air attacks: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never.”
These steps were developed by Dr. Archibald D. Hart and can be found in The Anxiety Cure. Anxiety is not a something that affects the weak, and does not mean that you are weak or a failure. Anxiety is something that affects the strong. If you’re are struggling with feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious, or experiencing panic attacks, there is hope. If you would like to learn more about counseling, please contact me at 210-789-9166.