For a moment, let us put aside all overbearing, radical, overthinking associated with negativity that goes hand in hand with mental torment. Instead, focus on those things in life no matter how small, that you can be thankful for.
We realize that many of the “things” you were once thankful for may be buried deep amongst the rubble in your life. Whether you had a singular incident or many incidents in your life that caused your foundation to crumble – remember all things are possible for those that believe. Often the list of possibilities expands exponentially when one starts to acknowledge – thankfulness of that which is favorable.
Whatever the turning point was when worry, fear. and anxiety started to spiral out of control, it needs to be squelched! No matter how many triggers binds you amidst the rubble, there is hope. Start by searching for moments in time that you smiled or laughed – be thankful and meditate on these things
When people are overwhelmed and hurting, they build up walls to protect themselves. The wall is not of brick and mortar but speculation, fear, and negativity. Example: You may become over vigilant in awareness of any changes in your body – pulse, breathing, etc… The very act of being “attentive” to these changes can become triggers for the dreaded panic or anxiety attack. Speculation will force its way into every corner of the barricade you have erected.
This wall will keep you isolated. It keeps out the light and blocks hope and joy.
There is no light in darkness.
Inside the wall, darkness acts as a catalyst nurturing more of the same. Rendering it difficult to see the goodness outside this barricade.
Chip away at the darkness in search of the light. No matter how small or insignificant the light may seem, grab hold of it. Fight for the light to break down the mental barrier of darkness.
Look for those things for which you can give thanks and do not stop short to your PATH TO THE RIVER. By Author Brian Ludwig, of PANIC ATTACKS CALMING THE STORM
… whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
The story, The Scarlet Letter, was set in Puritan Massachusetts, at the Bay Colony during the years 1642 to 1649, the novel tells the story of Hester Prynne who conceives a daughter through an affair… Hester was forced to wear the scarlet letter “A”, an adulterer, on her chest. A badge of sin, shame, and condemnation.
A more recent label of wrongdoing are those familiar orange prison uniforms that made the scene around the 1970s. They are still often used whenever the prisoners go out in public, are transported, are in court, or when they are in front of reporters. What if the prisoner in orange is also a murderer and had to wear a large RED “M”? People would gossip, back away, and get a feeling of uneasiness.
Today’s Scarlett Letter
Today people eagerly place yard signs to support their political candidates. Those signs that stand for the party that supports abortion are like Hawthorn’s Scarlet Letter. Christians around the world that know the truth of God’s Word, political signs are self-labeling them as murderers.
We have liberal friends but when they boldly place those signs in their yards we will no longer see them in the same light. Not only are they condoning abortion they are flaunting their acceptance that murder is ok.
Soon, the signs will disappear, but that searing image of murderer is burned into our very being. Whenever we shall see you, we will see that giant “M”. We pray for your eyes to be opened, and the misguided acceptance of that which is not of HIS WORD be exposed. That the deception you have been led to believe no longer controls you. And that our Nation is no longer desensitized to believe the god of the earth.
Abortion is not the only immorality the yard signs support. They are not the only deception of those things not of God. But that one issue is enough for me! Those who when many drive by your home, or when we see those with political signs for the party that support abortion.
Even long after your yard sign disappears this image will remain. We shall continue to pray for you. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester was labeled and shamed … but at least her child lived!
You have most likely heard people talk about how no one seems to notice them. They feel invisible. Maybe you feel that no one cares or sees you. At times most of us have transient episodes of this invisibility, but for some, it has engulfed them as a lifestyle from which they believe there is no escape. For the next few weeks, I will address this concept, and end with an article penned by a friend, Sandy. She grew up feeling invisible, unloved, and unwanted. She will share how she defeated all the negativity and evil in her life. It is titled:
THE FOOTPRINTS OF OUR LIVES.
First off let me set the stage to say that we are all created with unique gifts and talents. Not everyone is going to be the star basketball player, a famous writer, a CEO, a singer, the valedictorian… Thank goodness that we are all unique!
I teach theatre arts and work with students of all abilities. If I have a play and need a lead actor and a lead female singer, What good would those abilities do if when on stage the curtains would not open, the lights would not go on, the microphone was not plugged into the soundboard, the costumes are missing, or the makeup artist decides to quite…The on stage performers must trust and rely on the talents and skills of many others.
If I did excerpts from The Wizard of OZ, I would have 16 students portray each of all the main characters. EX: Some of the 16 Dorothys would sing some would dance and some would act. They would all play the character in their strength. They would all wear the same costume. By the end of the rehearsals all the Dorothy were ready to try other “Dorothy parts”. Rehearsing as a group without the fear of doing that which they felt they COULD NOT DO, often found another talent when the fear was removed! They do not actually try out because that causes discomfort in a lot of talented children. Instead, I would go up to them excitedly telling them I heard them sing or I saw them dance and invite them into a different group by telling them we need you!
When it was time for the curtain call all those backstage and involved in any way were included! If it wasn’t for them the show would not go on.
I teach through positive reinforcement. Many grow up without any positivity and encouragement, or only when it met the parent’s desires and their expectations not the child’s. If you grew up in this type of atmosphere it does not preclude you from discovering your purpose and finding true joy.
When you read Sandy’s story you will understand.
Gifts come in all types and sizes. A caregiver, an exceptional driver, how about a great storyteller, or the ability to see when someone is hurting. You may be extremely loyal, have integrity, yes all these and much more are gifts. How about the gift of energy, the ability to make people laugh, the gift of listening, cooking, or creative thinking? Maybe your gift is the ability to remember… There are hundreds of things that you may excel at. Lifehack.org has an article – 10 ways to identify your talents and utilize them. Just as a warning if you are in a negative place or are self-loathing does not mean you will not find your gifts. You must look at their suggestions from a place of hope. Remember you will need to change the way you think to change the way you behave.
Maybe a friend, a parent, or even a teacher, constantly compares you with others and often these well-meaning people hand out labels! Not everyone is an academic, not everyone is outgoing, not everyone does well in sports. It is ok to be different. It is ok not to want center stage, to be quiet or reserved. Labels tend to either bring you down or keep you down. People tend to “become” the labels they are given. Anxiety can enter when it is always expected for you to excel or reach certain goals. Whether these are your goals or the goals of someone else. Depression and sadness enter when hope is intangible.
When a person is not walking in peace and joy, they are especially vulnerable to living up to whatever they hear repeatedly. The door opens to that which is not desirable. Then it becomes a habit.
When true peace and joy fill the void in your life, there is no room for anything negative.
Words and labels can bring joy or cause misery, Proverbs 18:21 puts it this way: “The tongue has the power of life and death.” The stakes are high. Words can either speak life, or your words can speak death and fear. Our tongues can build others up, or they can tear them down.
If you want to list only a few words, here are some top contenders:
Spirit of Offense
If you can recognize and remove these emotions, you can open the door to a life of peace and joy. You need to discover where in your life you allow these thieves to enter. The words in this list can control your thoughts, your actions and keep you in bondage of darkness and hopelessness.
People want a life of contentment and happiness, but you cannot find that which is light if you do not remove the blindfold. You can not change your emotions about things that “interfere” with peace and joy unless you take any thoughts captive that feed off the words in the list above. To take a thought captive is just a fancy way of saying – to gain control over what you think about yourself and life.
If you have not acquired a firm transformational relationship with God, you will continue to process things, and circumstances, around you from the view of the world. Even when handed the keys to peace and joy, you will not be able to see past the drama, the offense…until you recalibrate your mindset.
Without a Biblical perspective controlling your thoughts, your heart, and your eyes, you are unable to see how to escape. You can look right into the light even with the blindfold off, but you still wear the dark glasses of deception. Therefore, you cannot recognize, or give credence to the fact that things can change.
This list of top contenders can all become a well-rehearsed drama in the lives of many. Creating a friction, an uneasiness that often either breaks up friendships or prevents them from forming.
When offense takes root, the first place it’s coming after is your mind. If offense can attach itself to your thoughts, it owns your ability to process understanding. The moment offense attaches itself to your mind, the ability to have clarity and peace is diminished, as everything now becomes about feeding every thought that is only directed at the hurt through offense.
The moment that offense attaches itself to your heart, everything you do becomes toxic and dangerous. The same goes for jealousy fear and anxiety.
You cannot look at life based on past failures and let that determine your future.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. (Mark 6:33-34)
This is referring to worldly concerns like worry and anxiety, drama, hurt feelings, those things that are the opposite of joy. Such as depression, misery, sadness, unhappiness, discouragement… where you experience anger, hopelessness, feelings of ill will.
You can retrain your mind to focus on that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
We are made in His image. God is not stressed, so why are you?
HELPING FRIENDS AND FAMILY UNDERSTAND WHAT THOSE WITH PANIC or Anxiety ATTACKS EXPERIENCES
These are some of the universal thoughts, ideas, and behaviors that many share.
I experience symptoms in my body that are so extreme that I conclude I must be having a major physical malfunction.
I experience fear that I find I am not able to control.
For no apparent reason, I will suddenly feel my heart racing, find it hard to breathe, feel my chest tightening, feel tingling through my body, feel lightheaded, dizzy, and like I’m going to pass out. I often experience heart palpitations.
I find it impossible to have fun like I once was able to.
There are certain places that I consistently find uncomfortable.
I find that, because of fear:
I may change my activities,
may not want to leave my house,
I may pull back from what I once enjoyed.
You find yourself always nervous and tense because you live in fear of experiencing another panic or anxiety attack.
Many times, you feel so bad that you are tempted to be taken to the emergency room because you are convinced something is terribly wrong.
BEHAVIORAL REACTIONS THAT YOU MAY COME UP AGAINST
You have established places and situations you avoid because your association with those places and situations brings about fear and discomfort.
Your number of safe places continues to dwindle.
Your mind is tired. You often wake up fatigued, and as the day goes on, you often feel the need for a nap.
When you experience an unusual symptom in your body, you tend to fixate on that symptom.
Trips are no longer fun like they used to be. They now require so much preparation and planning that the work and the stress seem to outweigh the anticipated enjoyment.
You find yourself extremely uncomfortable when you are in a facility with many people, especially if it is crowded.
When you are in a strange or crowded place, you always seek out and stay close to the exit.
Even on a short trip like an errand, you often find yourself taking along bottles of water and other supplies you anticipate you “may” need.
Sometimes when in a crowded restaurant, you find it hard to eat.
You prefer situations where you can keep your options open. You do not necessarily prefer to drive, but on the same hand, you don’t feel comfortable being trapped in another person’s vehicle without a way of escape.
If you are in a large grocery store, or any kind of store, you begin to get more and more uncomfortable the further away you get from the exit.
You find fewer and fewer situations that you look forward to.
Do you constantly sense an impending danger? Does your heartbeat go haywire from time to time? Do you find yourself sweating uncontrollably, even during winter? These are tell-tale signs you might be having an anxiety disorder, which could lead to constant panic attacks. If you’ve experienced the above symptoms or anything of sorts, then Brian Ludwig wrote Panic Attacks Calming the Storm to help you.
Brian had his first experience of a panic attack in May 1992. This development opened a new chapter in his life and work. Brian, who was a workaholic before the attack, had to start taking time off work. After the confirmation that he had become a victim of panic attacks, he decided to seek all the help he could. Meanwhile, as of 1992, there was no definitive treatment for his ailment. He had to go through a learning process of both finding a cure and discovering a part of him that he never knew existed. In this book, Brian shared the things he learned to help other people suffering from panic attacks.
The first thing I want to say about this book is that it isn’t a medical journal. If you are expecting a book that is written from years of medical research into panic attacks, you’ll be a tad disappointed. This book is a compendium of the author’s experiences and journey (as he calls it) of freeing himself from the debilitation of panic attacks. That notwithstanding, the book is a well-written resource that will help anyone going through the same or similar predicaments the author went through.
Here’s a disclaimer from the book for anyone who wants to read this book:
“First and foremost, you must understand that I am not a licensed physician. Anything that you find in this book that opposes what licensed physicians have told you, their direction and instructions should always supersede anything that I encourage you to do.” – Brian Ludwig
PROFESSIONAL BOOK REVIEW:
What endeared me most to this book was the author’s writing style. He opted for a relaxed and conversational tone in his narrative. There was never a point where he used any technical term. I thoroughly had a lot of fun reading this book. The author’s wit, sense of humour, and storytelling skills were in full play. The chapter titles were so captivating that I couldn’t wait to see what the next title would look like. I felt a kindred spirit all through the reading because of my experience with copywriting. He had a way with words that would make the reader stay glued to the book until the last page.
Additionally, he was descriptive and thorough in explaining the steps outlined in this book. This wasn’t surprising as he had a wealth of experience to bring to the table. The author’s writing style would help the ideal reader (people experiencing anxiety disorders) to enjoy this book — the last thing they’d need is a panic attack while reading the book.
It’s worth mentioning that the second part of the author’s journey was a spiritual one — with a focus on the importance of giving your life to Jesus Christ as a way of dealing with panic attacks. A good portion of this book was used to share his experience as a Christian believer. The author was careful to make this book beneficial to all categories of readers. However, anyone who needs help dealing with panic attacks would find this book helpful.
It was well-written and professionally edited. Therefore, I rate it four out of four stars. THE REVIEWER
Brian, you have written a wonderful book—it has an important message that is well communicated, with clear steps on how to use your ideas. You’ve done a particularly good job of providing direct support from Scripture for your techniques and ideas—there are a huge number of passages that speak directly to the subject at hand, lending great weight to what you are saying. I also think that when a passage from Scripture does not directly address the ideas presented, you’ve done an excellent job of connecting the dots for the reader.- Jefferson, Primary Editor FirstEditing
This was a really interesting read and I am grateful for being chosen for this project. I have to say that I actually learned a lot from reading this book, and I have been thinking about some of your tips recently! You wrote in a straightforward and informal manner, which will help the reader connect with you. I felt that you used real-life examples and spoke in a way that was not overly academic in nature. This made the information easier to understand and apply to the reader’s daily life, step by step. – Max, Assistant Editor FirstEditing
CUSTOMER BOOK REVIEWS:
This book is very practical and easy to read! I learned step by step methods for overcoming panic and anxiety issues! The author describes his personal journey in down to earth, relatable fashion with great humor and candor. I found it very encouraging to hear directly from someone who has wrestled with and overcome severe symptoms, as opposed to hearing from a PhD who only studied those who have but has no first-hand knowledge. – EH
“I have suffered with mild to severe anxiety most of my life. After reading this book, I have learned new ways to quiet my mind and guide my thoughts into new patterns of thinking. We so quickly give up on trusting God, this book explains how to use His power to obtain freedom.”. – JK, a retired teacher, mother and worrier
Fantastic book-easy to read and I felt like the writer completely understood how panic attacks and anxiety feel and how to overcome them. I’ve suffered from anxiety before I knew that was it and it can be debilitating. I started implementing the strategies while reading the book and already feel somewhat better. Highly recommend. – DP
I personally haven’t dealt with anxiety or panic attacks, but this book is very helpful to help me understand people who are dealing with these things. The second part of this book, the spiritual experience of the author is truly challenging and inspiring! If you want to know the heart of God for your life, recognize the attacks of the enemy and move into a victorious life, then this book will help you! – AR
“I have no doubt that this book will change lives and light a path for people who are seeking our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brian’s experiences and testimonies in this book will serve as a ministry to the lost.” – KR
I personally know this author, Brian Ludwig, and am very grateful to have benefited greatly from his spiritual insight. After wrestling with extreme panic and anxiety attacks for 10 years he discovered the keys to complete freedom which he shares so honestly in his book, Panic Attacks, Calming the Storm. His heart is to help anyone who deals with panic and anxiety (and depression too). The 2nd half of his book contains amazing stories of how he has been used to powerfully impact people’s lives. Those stories alone are worth the read!! I love that all the proceeds go to help missions and ministries! – FB
I was given the book because I struggle with poor self-image, anxiety, and depression. The way the information was presented was the first time I could really grasp why our thoughts are so important. The second half of the book really tied it all together. It was very easy to read and follow. – JD
This book is a must read for anyone seeking help with panic attacks or any anxiety related issues. Truly it is a testimony to God’s immense love and displays how one man’s journey through affliction is overcome. I have seen already how it’s helped myself and others around me. – KR
Have read this book. Insight from it means more to me than you can know. Am still healing and working on my religious outlook. Am re-reading book and am making some progress. Have an amazing story to tell you that happened yesterday while fighting off a panic attack. Have been through some tough days but yesterday had a major change in my mindset. Realistic help for the panic/anxiety attack victim from one who has been there and survived. Has set me on my healing path to peace. A must have for family supporters, too! From: Real life fight
This book is amazing for anyone who is struggling with anxiety. It has so many important lessons in it. God truly works through us all the time especially when we are going through hard times. I highly recommend this book. – SR
What an eye-opening revelation of a book. I thoroughly enjoyed this powerful one of a kind true story. The author reveals openly his personal journey from anxiety to overcoming. I highly recommend this book of healing to anyone who may struggle in their own life or perhaps you know someone who struggles. This book encourages the reader that there is hope. Great read. – AN
By reading this book it allowed me to put words to what I was experiencing physically. At first I thought it was a panic attack but learned from the book it was an anxiety attack, the stressor was fear of being alone. The book taught me to gain control of my thought patterns, my mindset. GREAT BOOK!! – EH
The book is so helpful for anyone who has anxiety. It has so many important lessons in it. This book reveals how one can get closer to God and build a relationship with him. I highly recommend this book. – SR
Author was very transparent with his experiences with anxiety and/or panic attics. The second part of book was very enlightening and educational in regards to the spiritual world that is around us. It stretched my faith and encouraged me in many ways!!! VERY COMPELLING – H
Insight from reading this book means more to me than you can know. Realistic help for the panic/anxiety attack victim from one who has been there and survived. Has set me on my healing path to peace. A must have for family supporters, too! – MM
By far one of the best books I‘ve read, and I’ve read a lot!
Highly recommend “Calming the Storm” that has been worked on over the past couple years by Brian Ludwig and completed just recently. Very timely for our current season.
The first part goes into Brian’s personal journey of overcoming panic attacks and anxiety and comes alongside you as the reader to coach you through those issues, to achieve not just some relief but total freedom.
The second part is about living an “on Earth as it is in Heaven” lifestyle by living naturally supernatural in miracles by the power of Holy Spirit as a child of God from what Jesus paid a price for you to have. If you or someone you know could benefit from this training, I highly recommend grabbing a copy in this season as I have been under a lot of teaching around the world, but this book gave a fresh fire to me!
All profits of the book go to missions! RD
The Brian has received many private messages and comments such as seen below
I have never been moved by a book quite like this one….
This book was an answer to prayer…
Starting to effectively use the techniques found to squelch my anxiety….
You make your techniques easy to grasp…
It was the first book that helped my family understand what I was going through…
There is not enough separating the born-again, Spirit filled, joint-heir with Jesus, son of God, home of the Father and Jesus, the new creation in Christ Jesus – from people in the world.
If someone who is not filled with Holy Spirit can mimic your walk, than the revelation of the gospel is not alive to you. There is too much Christianity through association rather than through relationship.
“I’m with this group — this is what we believe, this is what we do”. Yes, but what do you believe, what do you do, and what is your personal walk.
It’s not enough! It’s just not enough!
We have matured enough not to be offended at the supernatural as we are able to give mental assent to it. But we are not transformed enough to consistently display the kingdom: the everyday, every hour, moment to moment, the walking a lifestyle that does not leave room for compromise and contamination.
It’s the difference between “there is a blind person – Jesus could heal him, God wants him healed, he could be healed” – versus – Jesus was filled with Holy Spirit, I am filled with Holy Spirit. The old man (self) is dead, I have died and my new life is hidden, is absorbed in the anointed, the anointing is directing my actions, the love of God is my motivation and my confidence; so, I have to go and pray for that person to recover his sight.
We are told what we believe by association.
That’s not enough.
What we believe has to be established out of our relationship with the Father through Holy Spirit and from that we display what we believe by our actions. What we believe demands corresponding actions, and those actions can only be birthed out of relationship.
“Depart from me, I never knew you.”
There was a (are) group(s) of people who talk about what they did (do), who they knew (know), who they were, but Jesus said, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
The crucial point is not that Jesus didn’t know them, but the fact that they assumed that they knew Jesus. Believe me, if you know Jesus, Jesus knows you.
We know we know when we are transformed from the natural to the supernatural. We know we know when Holy Spirit takes us on a journey that is not possible without His presence. The presence of Holy Spirit gives us the ability that a person without relationship is not privy to.
Those people said – “but didn’t we do all these things.” No – you associate with people who did those things, but those signs and wonders were not a result of your personal relationship with Jesus.
It’s not enough.
Association is not enough.
Meeting once a week to be told what you believe is not enough. Your beliefs must be established in you personally by Holy Spirit. Hearing others speak truth is awesome, but the truth must enter in and transform you.
Relationship: There is no way around it. Relationship birthed out of trust, time, and yielding. God is constantly drawing you in and offering relationship. He offers to fill you with Himself for the sake of relationship. God made us in his image so as we yield, we are transformed to uniquely be made one with the Father through Holy Spirit. What we have been walking in is not enough. Relationship is the desire of the Father. Look what he did for you through Christ Jesus.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
Even when we were dead, God made us alive. Again, done through relationship.
We were made alive with Jesus through the anointing. Right there is so much more than we deserve, but God is not done. Next, he raised us up, not only raised us up but raised us up with Jesus. Can there possibly be more? Amazingly yes — he made us sit together with Jesus in heavenly places. Why would God do that? – for relationship. But why? – so he might show, or can I say, enable us to partake in the privilege for God to show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
This was all God’s idea. This shows the nature of our Father. Here’s the deal – so many people who don’t know God try to explain the actions of God. They explain God through their personal failures and then push their doctrine on others to believe the same way. Needless to say, the devil is all over this because it keeps people ineffective and in bondage.
Freedom Is Obtained Through Relationship.
The consistency, honor, and trust from the relationship and the relationship is reduced to an association. There is no power in an association. These verses in Ephesians are anything but an association, it is a call, an invitation for a relationship — initiated by the Father. People give mental assent to it but do not embrace it as a life-changing truth for their own lives. The result — failure to receive.
The word bangs around in their head as a remote possibility but never enters the heart by faith to know the goodness of God. People receive according to the perception of who they are in the eyes of God. Instead of sons, they see themselves as orphans. Instead of friends, they still remain servants. This keeps people from trust. Trust keeps people from yielding. The result — Holy Spirit has no access to a close life. You see, as we yield, we become, as we become, we are enabled and empowered. We open the door for the move of God and slam the door shut to the deceit of the enemy. And John chapter 14, Jesus said, Satan comes, but he has nothing in me. That is the key to victory. No stronghold for the devil and perfect trust in the father which allows us to totally yield to Holy Spirit. Author Brian Ludwig