I don’t know what it is, but the older I get, the more anxious I get. It is the weirdest thing. I can fill my breathing begin to get shallower when I think of all of the things I need to do, I am more nervous on flights now than I have ever been and am extremely hesitant to go to certain places out of fear of what could happen.
After speaking with a few of my close friends, I have found that anxiety as you get older is more common than you may think. Especially when you have a family. Not only do you have to consider yourself, you now have to consider the safety of your children. And you have to think about how your children and husband will be impacted if, God forbid, something unfortunate may happen to you.
I have found myself being very selective of where I go and when I go as a result. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW God is in control and will protect me, but I still have uneasy feelings at times that increase my anxiety.
I refuse to live a stressed life full of anxiety, so I began to do some research and have found multiple ways to defeat anxiety without medication. Not that there is anything wrong with managing your anxiety with medication. That is just not my personal preference. You have to do what is best for you.
Tools to help you conquer anxiety
Focus on being brave
You are not going to believe this, but my five-year-old son just came behind me, took a look at this content as if he actually read it and said, “Focus on being brave.” He can read a little bit, but he is not advanced enough to have understood this content. Wow... Out of the mouths of babes. He has a great point too. Ironically, I use this as a tool and I focus on being brave when I feel extremely anxious.
In fact, on my last flight, I was extremely anxious because it was my first time flying without my husband and son, and of course all I could think about was how they would be impacted if something were to happen to me. Terrible right? I know... Smh.
So what I did on the flight was focused on how many people fly each day and how statistically, the odds of me getting into a car accident are far greater than me getting in an airplane crash yet I still drive multiple times each day.
When I felt turbulence, I began to tell myself that they are just speeds bumps or potholes. Just like the ones I may run over while I am driving in my car.
And if those methods didn’t help. I turned on my good old gospel music and began to focus on how big God is. And how he was in control of that flight. The gospel music and prayer was all I needed. They made me feel so calm that I began to doze off on the flight.
Prayer and what God says about anxiety
Just like in every other troubling situation, I strongly recommend that you turn to prayer and ask God to help you conquer your anxiety. Prayer works. I have seen it time and time again. And most of all, God does not want us to be “anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving” He wants us to present our requests to Him. (Philippians 4:6 NIV.) His word also states that He wants us to “cast all [our] anxiety on Him because He cares for [us].” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV.) What a great reminder that is. He will literally take whatever matters are troubling us and take our burden. That in itself should give us peace.
Additionally, we should have peace knowing that God is in control. He knows the plans He has for us. "Plans to prosper [us] and not to harm [us]. Plans to give [us] hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.)
God has a perfect plan for our lives. No matter how it may appear in the moment, He will work it out. He will protect us from harm. He will ensure that all things work together for our good. (Romans 8:28.) He has our best interest at heart. If we remember those things, and focus on His word and focus on His promises, we will be able to overcome our anxiety and live in perfect peace.