You may have heard someone at work or a social function say, “I feel like I’m having an anxiety attack.” Usually if you can say that, you aren’t actually having an anxiety attack.
You may be on the verge of an anxiety attack, but an actual anxiety attack is usually quite debilitating. The symptoms may come on suddenly, like a panic attack, or more gradually, but are no less distressing when severe, and may include:
- chest pains
- racing or pounding heart
- feeling faint, weak, or dizzy
- difficulty taking a deep breath, or rapid breathing
- feeling sweaty or having chills
- a sense of impending doom or terror
Some victims of anxiety attacks say it feels like they are having a heart attack. When experiencing these kinds of symptoms, a trip to the emergency room is a wise precaution, just to make sure something more serious is not happening.
Physical Processes of Anxiety
The human body is equipped with a remarkable defense mechanism—the sympathetic nervous system—that kicks on in moments of crisis. When we are under threat, we may have a split second to decide whether to defend (fight) or flee (flight). At that moment, the entire body prepares to go into action.
Have you felt a desire to grow and develop spiritually? If so, it is God who placed the desire within you. Have you felt unsatisfied with a faith that lacks the depth and transformational power you long for? God is drawing you closer.
Have you felt helpless and confused in the face of painful situations? God is calling you deeper into harmony with His will for your life. This is not a divine guilt-trip or a sign of heavenly disapproval. As always, God’s motivation for this calling in your life is pure, perfect, relentless love.
As the hymnist George Matheson wrote in 1882,
“O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.”
Why do so many Christians live with spiritual stagnation and defeat? Perhaps many considered the moment of their justification before God (by grace, through faith in Christ) as the pinnacle of their spiritual journey. However, this allows no active role in the life of the Christian for the Holy Spirit, who Jesus said “the Father will send in my name” to “teach you all things” and “remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is also the One who can produce the “fruit” of divine love...
We work best when we have a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose engages not just our will, but our best thoughts, our passions and gives life a much needed sense of meaning. In Proverbs it says not having vision can kill you; I would add both physically and emotionally. I’m reminded of the old Disney short cartoons that would include a businessman trudging to work at his soul-sucking day job, rings under his eyes, despondently going through the motions. Life is much better lived when it is about meaningful activity, whether at work or play, to be on purpose and engaged with those around us. If you are dissatisfied with your current job or life path, a personal coach can help you reorient yourself so you have a greater sense of purpose and meaning.
What Do You Want?
Another way to phrase this is, what are my objectives? Too often, people get an opportunity to work at some job or project, and because the money is good, or the prestige, or who is involved, they don’t pause long enough to ask, “Is this something I really want?” If we don’t ask the question, we end up living on impulse, aimless, and our sense of purpose becomes circumstantial. There’s an old business saying, “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.” Brainstorm first. Wave your magic ...
I am walking through the woods on a peaceful day and I suddenly see a huge grizzly bear standing on its hind legs looking at me. I am paralyzed with fear. My heart rate accelerates, my mouth feels dry, my muscles tighten, my mind goes blank, my skin gets clammy, and I feel like I just drank 10 Red Bull Energy drinks.
These are all very adaptive fight or flight responses my body produces to protect me from the huge animal. Under this stress response, I will move faster, bleed less if hurt, be fueled by energy hormones, and will be less distracted by irrelevant details going through my mind. The Fight or Flight response is rooted in my instincts as an automatic response to help me survive when my wellbeing is threatened.
What if this survival response got triggered every time I had perform a new social interaction? My body and mind respond to a social interaction with another person as if I am about to be devoured by a grizzly bear. Having the survival response trigger when it is not needed can be exhausting and bring a person’s quality of life to a standstill.
Social anxiety disorder is the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to social avoidance as means of coping. Fear of embarrassment or being in situations where you could be scrutin...
In this article we'll discuss 15 tips for creating a personal development plan that works for you.
Tips for Creating a Personal Development Plan
Tip #1: Set smaller goals and work on large projects a little at a time.
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the task and give up. Research from the field of change human psychology suggests that preparing for a change stage leads to the creating of reciprocal actions that facilitate change. Realize that actions do not have to be large accomplishments. Learn to celebrate small wins. Setting smaller goals and working on large projects a little at a time will help you accomplish tasks with less anxiety and in a timely manner.
Small steps lead to big change. Overcoming the little things in our everyday battles leads to achieving our big hairy audacious goals that Christ compels us to set. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).
Tip #2: Increase learning orientation.
Are you motivated by performance goals? Do you have lower self-efficacy when you have hit your expected targets? Is there something missing even when you are doing your job? Develop a learning orienta...
There is a reason marriage traditionally takes place in a sacred place, in front of God, family and friends, and is celebrated in the community. The process of two flawed, amazingly complicated human beings joining together is incredibly complex, and married couples need encouragement and support to resist the forces that would tear them apart, both internal and external.
No one reaches adulthood without suffering some sort of emotional harm. We bring whatever damage we have suffered into a marriage, often without much awareness about how much it influences our thinking and actions. This lack of awareness makes the inevitable changes that come in relationships very difficult. Faith in God can help us endure difficult transitions with hope for the future, more so when our spouse shares that faith. Growing together successfully, however, will require kindness, curiosity and mutuality.
Among the defenses that arise from early emotional damage is a need for control. For some, this need for control spills over into religious beliefs and spiritual practice. If I have a strong internal need for control, the language of faith can become a twisted tool in my hand, used to bludgeon other viewpoints into submission. A good practice is to do a little self-check when confronted by an op...
Spiritual Development Core Definition
Many a theologian has offered a definition of spiritual development over the course of two millennia. Spiritual development can mean many things to many people in the secular and pluralistic environment we inhabit in our terrestrial world. Spiritual development, in essence, is to believe in something beyond the material universe and to develop an awareness of realities beyond the confines of time and space.
What does spiritual development mean for the Christ follower? Acts 17:28 answers the question well: “For in him we live and move and have our being.” Our essence, belonging, search for meaning, and purpose originate from the Lord as transformed through the person of Jesus Christ and God’s infallible and unchanging Word.
The purpose of spiritual development is summed up well in Romans 12:2 that exhorts us with these powerful words: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” God’s truth and purpose transform the soul, spirit, mind, and strength in all of our activities. Everything we have, including our knowledge, skills, talents, and abilities, are to be st...