I once believed outside environments and people created my feelings of panic and flooded me with frightening physical symptoms. Actually it was my belief that I wasn’t safe that incited and fired up my emotions. When I felt scared or angry, I attached danger to my feelings, creating a firestorm of terror. Adrenaline would race through my body, setting off a myriad of symptoms: tremors, sweats, air hunger, racing thoughts.
I finally came to the realization that I was stirring up my own anxiety by believing the lies that I was going to die or lose my mind. When I admitted to myself that I had suffered through hundreds of anxiety attacks and yet I was still alive and sound of mind, the entrenched, scary thoughts began to lose their power over me.
I memorized Scripture that I would quote to redirect my thoughts toward God’s care of me. I selected portions that mirrored his love and constancy. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever=present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1).