4 Ways to Take Charge of Anxiety

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Army. Green. Couch.

Can you picture it? Now hold onto that image and I’ll come back to it.

If you have read my posts for any length of time, you know that I struggle with anxiety. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I realized how much I can fixate on things… sometimes really silly things.

When we made the decision to leave the Bay Area, we gave away most of our furniture. We knew we would be staying with my parents and we had absolutely no place to store the furniture that we had accumulated our first 5 years of marriage.

While we were living with my parents, I hadn’t really noticed the impact of us not having furniture because they had everything covered.

However, when we found out that Adam had gotten the job he had applied for in Spokane, my brain started going into a “fix-it,” nesting mode. I slowly started to realize how little we had to put into a new home and I started to panic.

I knew we didn’t have much money to put into furniture, so my anxiety started to rise. How would I be able to make our new home feel like home?

We hadn’t had our own space in about two years, and I so desperately wanted to be able to make our home feel like home.

So, what does an army green couch have to do with my anxiety?

Well, in the midst of packing, my parents offered us their army. green. couch.

My brain went immediately to how it was such an ugly couch and how it would be the eyesore of our living room. How could I make our house feel like a home with THAT couch?

Can you see the spiral?

My mind was consumed with this couch. I had trouble sleeping over this couch. I actually had a minor panic attack over this couch.

Not only was my anxiety over this couch impacting me, but it was starting to filter into my conversations and interactions with Adam. I was allowing the anxiety over this couch to impact my marriage relationship.

My anxiety was beginning to leave a trail of destruction.

I’m honestly pretty embarrassed to admit where my heart and mind were.

So, I had a choice to make. Either I was going to continue to let my anxiety overtake me or I was going to get honest with myself and deal with it.

So I buckled up and decided to deal with it.

When we have this anxiety, how should we respond?

  1. Get to the root of the issue.
  2. For me, the root of my fixation wasn’t just about the army green couch. It was about feeling displaced, unsettled, and stuck. While those feelings are completely legitimate, all of that anxiety was fixated on the existence of a sofa.

    Anxiety is rooted in fear. When you begin fixating on things or feel anxiety, ask yourself “What am I afraid of?”. When we understand the root of our anxiety, when we name the fear, we can deal with it and overcome it.

  3. Talk to God and be honest with Him.
  4. Over the weeks between getting the job and actually moving into the place we are renting, I had some very honest, raw conversations with God about my fears. I began to work through the struggles that my heart has put on hold for the past year. Who knew that an army green couch would be the trigger?

    God wants to help us deal with and overcome those fears that incapacitate us. But, for Him to help us, we have to be honest with ourselves and with Him about our fears. We need to bring them to light.

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

  5. Recognize the battle in front of you.
  6. Did you know that the enemy WANTS you to stay in the pits of anxiety? He wants your fears to become your reality. He wants to belittle you and make you feel alone.

    Remember that anxiety doesn’t come from God. While the enemy will distract you with the noise of uncertainty and defeat, God will whisper victory and security.

    You are in a battle, but with God on your side, you fight FROM victory, not for it. He has already won, we just need to let Him take over and carry the load.
    “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
    – Romans 8:31

  7. Be thankful.
  8. A shift in perspective can make all the difference.

    My heart was critical and negative when I was focused on the negative aspects of this couch. BUT, when I started to focus on how comfy it was and how thankful I was that we had a couch in our living room, my heart became more joyful.

    While it’s not the prettiest couch, it IS one of the comfiest couches I have ever sat on.

    When I see this couch now and when I sit in it, I thank the Lord for providing. This couch has become a reminder for me how far God has brought us and that he is intricately involved in our journey.

What is the army green couch in your life right now? What are some of the fears that are driving you? Are you willing to let go and reclaim your life, knowing that God is with you and for you?

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adam & Jess

Hi, we’re Adam & Jess--we’re so glad you’re here!

Our marriage got off to a rocky start in 2014 and quickly escalated into a full-out crisis. God healed us, and now we're inviting you to walk with us as we all journey toward healthier marriages together!

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