Today My Heart is Pounding with Anxiety

Today my heart is pounding with anxiety. My blood pressure is elevated and I have a headache. My chest hurts. My back aches. I feel the need to take too many deep breaths and release huge heavy sighs. My body wants to run and lie down at the same time. I want to hit the gym and release the adrenaline. I also really need to snuggle in my bed and watch TV. There is way too much energy running through my system and yet I feel exhausted. Today my heart is pounding with anxiety. Not fear. Not worry. Just medically diagnosed anxiety. And it is not my fault. 

If you are feeling the symptoms of panic attack, please see your doctor to be evaluated for an underlying thyroid or cardiac issue. You will read below that the first place I went was to the doctor for a thorough checkup, including a visit to the cardiologist.

Are you Suffering From Anxiety?

If you are suffering from anxiety today, I am here to encourage you. I know the struggle. You are safe here and will receive no judgement. Anxiety is not your fault and there is so much hope for you!

Anxiety surprised me one night. It woke me from a sound sleep. I thought I was dying. I had never even heard of this condition, so it wasn’t something I made up. It is, however, something that I have had to accept and learn to manage. Of 13 symptoms of an anxiety attack, I had 13 of them.

If you are feeling the symptoms of panic attack, please see your doctor to be evaluated for an underlying thyroid or cardiac issue. You will read below that the first place I went was to the doctor for a thorough checkup, including a visit to the cardiologist.

I Was Having a Panic Attack

Of course when I thought I was dying, my sweet husband took me to the doctor. To my great relief, I was found to be extremely healthy, but suffering from a panic attack. I had never even heard of that. What is a panic attack anyway? 

The coolest thing happened. Every doctor and nurse who cared for me that day also suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. I was made to feel normal and given so much hope for my future. I know that God was taking care of me in a very special way. He knew that I needed reassurance from others that I was not losing my normally very stable mind. Something had just gone awry in my body and it was fixable.

If you have ever had a panic attack, I am so sorry.

They are scary and so tiring. But they are not dangerous. You are not dying. You have just released too much adrenaline because your body has decided there is some sort of threat. But almost always, there is no threat. 

I have gotten good at panic attacks. I can carry on a conversation, have fun with my kids, hang out with my husband, hold down my job and take great care of my family. And no one knows how much I am suffering. Today my heart is pounding with anxiety. But I will be okay. You will be okay too.

The Stigma of Anxiety

Today my heart is pounding with anxiety. It is hard for me to be so vulnerable and public with this. Anxiety carries a stigma. I see it when I let someone know I have been diagnosed and treated. I am instantly put in the category of weakness. Weak in faith, weak in mind, weak in ability. However, this view of people who suffer from anxiety disorder is very wrong. We are the opposite. We are strong.

People With Anxiety are Not Weak

If you have lived with anxiety and panic attacks, you are well aware of the strength it takes to keep on going. All of us are frail humans. We all have our own battles with different things. We do have a loving savior who wants to make us whole and offer perfect peace and a joy filled life. Please watch this video to find out more about Him.

I know that I can do all things through Christ in me. What a blessing to all who will call on His name and believe.

“I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me” (Philippians 4:13)

I am so very thankful that God can use my struggle for His glory. What a blessing that he can allow me to be a vessel of hope and encouragement for people who feel lost, anxious, depressed or hopeless. If God can use me in my humanity, then there is hope for all mankind. There is hope for me. There is hope for you.

What is Anxiety Disorder

When I let people know that I have an anxiety disorder, I am often told to have faith over fear. If I am honest, I might want to punch the next person who says that to me right in the nose. Haha. I won’t ever punch anyone, but come on people. Please stop saying that. Anxiety is not fear. And even if someone is struggling with fear, that is not a helpful thing to say. Lead them gently to Jesus. He is the answer. He provide the peace they need. That we all need. If you would like to know more about Jesus, read this article and watch this video.

Anxiety is Not a Lack of Faith

 I have the spiritual gift faith. I do not doubt God in any way. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit indwells me and helps me bear the Fruit of the Spirit. I know many others who suffer with anxiety who have the gift faith. Anxiety has nothing to do with lack of faith.

Anxiety is not fear. It is not worry. And anxiety is not weakness. It is a medical condition.

Anyone suffering from anxiety knows how strong and resilient we are. We understand the strength it takes to press on in spite of the difficulties of the moment. We know how to treat others with grace and patience when it feels like we are coming out of our own skin.

Show me someone who struggles with panic and anxiety, and I will show you someone who is strong and carries much empathy.

Sometimes too much empathy for their own good. But our suffering is one of the things that makes us more sensitive to those who need some hope an encouragement. 

Traits of People With Anxiety Disorder

People with anxiety are generally gentle, sensitive, loving, loyal, and selfless. Some people call these weaknesses, but the Bible says that God loves a gentle and quiet spirit. (1 Peter 3:4 in the Bible) I read this scripture as a young girl and determined that I would possess such a spirit. (Don’t worry, having a gentle and quiet spirit does not mean you will develop anxiety. They do not necessarily go hand in hand).

Cycle of Anxiety

As empathetic people, we tend to take on the feelings of others. And sometimes that leads to a cycle of anxiety for us. But that’s okay. I wouldn’t trade having anxiety because it has given me so much more empathy and understanding for others.

For example, I had been sailing symptom free for several months. In fact, I recently told my husband that I felt so free and happy because I had not encountered any struggles for such a long time.

Then, 3 months ago some friends suffered a great loss. And I took that upon myself. I have suffered with them day and night. I feel their anxiety and sorrow. I pray for them constantly. But when you are a person with anxiety, carrying so much sorrow for others can start an anxiety cycle in your own life. 

And that is exactly why my heart is pounding today. While I am writing this article, I feel I need to run. At the same time, I just want to go to sleep, or watch a movie, or escape in some way. So I will practice the things in the linked article. These are the practices that help me avoid anxiety attacks most of the time. (Read how to manage symptoms of anxiety here). And my symptoms will dissipate for a while. But it will take a few more weeks for this cycle of anxiety to leave me. I know it will because it always does. I will enjoy the respite and practice all of my healthy habits until the next one comes along. However, when I practice all of my good habits, starting with spending time with Jesus, anxiety can feel like something from long ago that can’t really take over anymore. but this has taken years and years of practice.

You Can Overcome Anxiety With Help

 Anxiety doesn’t care how busy you are. It doesn’t notice when you are happy and having fun. It can’t even tell that you are fearless and relaxed. It just shows up any time it feels like it. No warning, no invitation needed and it does not require a reason. It is a very unwelcome guest that just barges in, waiting to pop up when you least expect it. But we can build up defenses to stop it in its tracks. It takes work, but with a good counselor you can overcome anxiety. It does not have to rule your life. Today my heart is pounding with anxiety, but tomorrow will be better.

Fortunately, anxiety is a treatable disorder, and I encourage you to speak to your doctor if any of this article relates to your situation. I have been treated and have developed many strategies that have made days like today more more rare. I invite you to watch the Great News For You Video on this page if you would like to know more about the hope for you found in Jesus Christ.

If you need to speak to someone now, please call the number below.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish. 

If you are feeling the symptoms of panic attack, please see your doctor to be evaluated for an underlying thyroid or cardiac issue. The first place I went was to the doctor for a thorough checkup, including a visit to the cardiologist.

FREE GIFT

Watch this video!

If this video connected with you in some way, and you’d like to find out more about having a relationship with God and how His forgiveness and grace applies to you, a great place to start is praying the prayer below. The words themselves aren’t magic, but if you earnestly pray them and mean them, God will hear you! He’ll help you in ways you don’t understand, and we’ll help you find support and next steps.

The Prayer

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray,

Amen.

Did you pray this prayer?

So Now What?

If you really meant that prayer, the next step is to get you connected with other Christ-followers near you so you can grow, learn and become stronger in your faith.

Click the CONNECT NOW button below to find a group of believers who can help you establish that relationship with God that you’ve only just begun.

God loves you – specifically you! And because He does, you have a bright future! Trust Him to help you find it.

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