My son and I are big fans of the Star Wars movies. We’ve all heard the phrase, “may the force be with you.” Darth Vader would always use the force to convince people of his will, many times by using the “force choke.” This is where Vader would simply lift a hand and from the other side of the room, or the next galaxy, he would choke and lift his victim.
In recent years, I have experienced anxiety that was so gripping in my life that it felt as if Darth Vader had me in a force choke. Anxiety and depression can be paralyzing. When circumstances begin to pile high, it becomes difficult to see the way out.
Whenever I have faced the paralyzing grip of anxiety, I have found these steps to be helpful in moving forward:
- Call It Out – Write It Down. The object of your anxiety, whatever fear or worry keeps rolling through your mind, first needs to be called out. I would suggest doing this somewhat publicly. Maybe not on Facebook, but at least in a journal or verbally to a trusted friend. Psalm 42:4 talks about remembering the tears and longing. When you call it out, you can begin to but that thing behind you.
- Breath In/Breath Out – seriously. Do that right now. Deep breaths. As you breath in, think, “more of you Jesus.” As you breath out, think, “less of myself.” Being gripped in anxiety requires a transformation, a renewing of your mind that only comes when you allow Jesus in to take complete control.
- Do The Next Logical Step. The object of your anxiety may indeed be a mountain. It’s not going to climb itself and you can’t climb it all at once. Don’t focus on the end. Focus on the next step that you can take today to move you slightly closer to the end. Keep doing that each day with a new next step.
These steps have often worked well for me. Sometimes anxiety and depression requires more specific attention. If you go through these steps and still feel stuck, we can help you determine what the next best course of action would be to becoming a healthier you.