Tag Archives: anxiety

Natural Remedy for a Troubled Mind

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Lately I’ve been mulling over whether or not I should continue to pursue a possible job opportunity. At first I was enthused; now I’m having second thoughts. I felt anxiety trying to push its way in.

This weekend I realized some relief from the anxiety as I worked outside. Just being outside in nature’s slower-paced rhythm helped, but the motion of walking on the ground also helped me relax as I mowed grass, raked grass clippings, and moved cement bricks. 

While thinking about how moving and doing repetitious work helps relax the mind, I remembered reading one of my favorite authors—Don Ian Smith, I believe—who wrote that when he was troubled about a situation, one of the things he fell back on for relief was physical labor. Since he owned a small ranch, physical labor meant shoveling out irrigation ditches, repairing fences, painting, etc. The physical work allowed his mind to slow down, relax, and get perspective.

Sometimes I complain about the tedious, repetitious tasks of everyday life. Yet the saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings” warns me about what can happen when I don’t do those tasks. The saying means when we are bored we can get into or cause trouble. I don’t think the “trouble” it refers to is confined to the stuff that makes the evening news; I think the trouble can be in our minds–trouble such as anxiety, depression, resentment, envy, and anger. 

The next time I’m tempted to complain when doing repetitious work, I’ll remember the value in it, and the trouble I’m “missing out” on!

©P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Cutting Anxiety–The Power of Praising God

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For awhile now I’ve been experiencing bouts of anxiety. This evening I felt an urge to praise God. As I did so, I could almost feel the anxiety melt away, and peace flow in.

“Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. (Psalm 113:1, NIV)

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3, NIV)

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.” (Psalm 95:6,7, NIV)

“For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise…” (Psalm 96: 4a, NIV)

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1, NIV)

“Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, NIV)

“O LORD God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty, O LORD, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.” (Psalm 89:8, NIV)

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 150:6, NIV)

“You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11, NIV)

Note: This is just a few of the verses in the Bible which praise God. The Book of Psalms, particularly Psalms 107–150, is full of praises to God. For me, praising God breaks through dark moods and anxious moments, and I want to praise Him more often.

P. Booher

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Keeping a Blessings Journal

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“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”(Philippians 4:8, KJV)

Many times in the Old and New Testaments God urges (and sometimes commands, as in Joshua 4:5-7) us to remember His blessings and what He has done. King David had many low moments, but came out of them by remembering God’s mercies and blessings to him and Israel. Remembering how God acted in the past gave David renewed faith and courage for the challenges ahead.

Some years ago I began keeping a blessings journal. I bought a 4″x6″ notebook and recorded blessings—like the time I was driving and almost caused an accident (the “almost” is the blessing part), the time I was standing outside a local store, waiting to cross the road, when I felt something brush the back of my leg. I thought it was a bug. Instead, it was the tail fin of a 1960’s-era car! I could have been run over! But I wasn’t hurt at all. I wrote about other events that “almost” happened and would have been disastrous, but they didn’t happen—blessings to me.

I wrote about things that did happen, like getting together with friends. Just last fall two of my friends and I went to a nature reserve and walked on one of the trails. We meandered around, listening to the birds, watching the fish in the pond, and enjoying each other’s company. Then we went to a restaurant to eat. My friends didn’t realize it, but that day was the day before my birthday. I knew I’d be working on my birthday, so I hadn’t planned anything, but just being with my friends was celebration enough.

I keep my little journal in my purse. I look at it when I have a few spare moments—on break at work, or even right before I go to bed. It reminds me of the many times God has blessed me. Taking just a few minutes to reflect on God’s goodness to me helps me combat worry and anxiety. God does not change; He has helped me before, He can help me again.

Resources: Psalm 63 and Psalm 142, among the many psalms David wrote, are especially timely.

©P. Booher

 

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Diving Into A Sea of Books–How to Live in Fear–Mastering the Art of Freaking Out

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

I first came across How to Live in Fear–Mastering the Art of Freaking Out in a Christian bookstore. I thought that was a little strange, with a title like that. “Fear” and “Christian”  don’t go together. But the longer I leafed through the pages, the more I realized the title fit perfectly with the theme: being able to live with faith in God while having anxiety/panic attacks.

Pastor Lance Hahn has experienced severe anxiety attacks since boyhood. For a few years the attacks left, then they came roaring back into his life. He describes what it’s like to be a Christian, and the senior pastor of a large church–a pastor who suffers from panic attacks. Continue reading

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Diving Into A Sea of Books–The Perfectionist’s Handbook

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

The Perfectionist’s Handbook, subtitled Take Risks, Invite Criticism, and Make the Most of Your Mistakes by Jeff Szymanski, PhD, a self-described perfectionist and clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), is mainly for people who think their perfectionism generally works well for them, but want to know  when it may drift into unhealthy territory, and how to cope with any tendencies perfectionism brings that they don’t want to have.

Dr. Szymanski describes differences between “healthy” and “unhealthy” perfectionism. He gives the pros and the cons of perfectionism. When serving the person, perfectionism can be good, but taken to the extreme, this mindset can quickly become the master of the person, resulting in serious problems.

I like the way the author uses stories from his life to illustrate what he means. He never “talks down” to the reader. He does refer to a lot of studies, which to this layperson, grew tiresome to read. However, it shows he did his research.

To me, the author generally takes an optimistic view of perfectionism. For differing views of perfectionism, check out How to be an Imperfectionist by Stephen Guise and the BBC Future article, “The dangerous downsides of perfectionism” http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180219-toxic-perfectionism-is-on-the-rise). The article links the mindset to OCD, anxiety, self-mutilation, depression, and other problems, with the worst being early mortality and suicide.

As a person realizing the damage I allowed perfectionism to do, I didn’t find The Perfectionist’s Handbook as helpful as I thought it would be.  For my part, I see perfectionism as an enemy; it brings on low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Striving for excellence is good; beating myself up when I don’t reach my standards is not.

©P. Booher

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