Thursday, October 21, 2010

Panic is a Dead-End

I have a bad habit. Actually, habit should be plural, but let's focus on the singular.

I was analyzing those thoughts that run through my head occasionally, such as I cannot do this! or This is too hard! or I think I'm going to quit! Basically, these reactions are all the same and result from the same place - panic. Something bad/hard happens, I panic, and irrational thoughts break loose.

I usually have three responses when I feel the tide rising and panic is coming after me. This is the typical order that I seem to naturally follow:

  1. Recall 2 Corinthians 10:5 ("We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.") and speak it. Yell it, if you need to :)

  2. Anxiety and faith cannot coexist. It's that simple. I remind myself that I swim in the ocean of grace. If I am anywhere else, get out and dry off. I have a choice every moment that I have to make, and I choose faith.

  3. This is very important step to me. I'll call it gaining perspective or being realistic or getting my head screwed on straight. When a tough situation would present itself, I would start to panic (aka freak out, in my head of course) - WHY? Because I would project that one occurrence onto forever. In other words, I would start to think that I cannot keep doing this one thing over and over for the rest of my life. I know, it's a preposterous thought! Time marches on, and eventually this situation will no longer even be an issue. I just take a deep breath and ask myself, "Can I do this one thing right now?" And just focus on the present and what is required in this moment.