Anxiety seems to be on the rise, or it could just be that we’re more educated about it and therefore we see it more. The experience of anxiety is heart stopping, or at least that’s how it feels. Your mind is consumed with all the worst outcomes. Your heart is about to beat out of your chest. Your lungs can’t take in the air that they need to keep you alive. The end of near. That’s how it feels, or at least it did for me when I had a panic attack a few years ago. Everyone’s experience of anxiety will be different. Regardless, living with anxiety is not pleasant.
In her new book Helen Thorne opens up about her own experience of anxiety. She also takes you to the Bible to help you see the source of true hope.
There is no quick fix, as Thorne says, there are no magic steps to follow. But there is the daily grind of living and learning which will bring growth and there’s the gospel that brings hope.
The book begins with this quote…
“Whether mild, moderate or severe, anxiety is a struggle many of us know well. At it’s core, it’s fear: a sense of worry or tension about what is or what might occur. But it’s not one that helps. Some fear is useful — an awareness of danger is necessary to help us keep safe — but anxiety is a type of fear that is persistent, difficult to control and detrimental to life. It drags us down, it stops us thriving, it leaves us unequipped for the day ahead.”
From here Thorne goes on to explain 3 reasons why anxiety exists in this life;
- Broken experiences
- Broken bodies
- Broken hearts
If, as Thorne says, around 6% of the UK population will seek medical help for anxiety in any given year, then we need to be equipped to help the anxious.
Helen starts by thinking through some helpful resources, tools and techniques that can help the anxious person deal with their anxiety on a day to day basis. This sections is full of a wealth of experience, both from Helen’s own personal experience and that of counselling others. She gives helpful thoughts on a few things;
- Grounding techniques
- Exercise and rest
- Priorities and plans
- Medication and talking therapies
Then Helen goes on, in part two of the book, to unpack six lies that an anxious person may be believing. This section is jammed full of biblical truth to help the Christian see that these lies are just that; lies.
This book is short, it is practical, it is very helpful and I think that it could be a really good introduction to a big topic for many people today. Buy a copy here and let me know what you think. This book would be great for the anxious person you know, for those caring for the anxious and for churches to know how to support anxious members better. I highly recommend this book. Again, buy your own copy here.
Helen Thorne is Director of Training and Resources at Biblical Counselling UK and an experienced counsellor. She formerly worked with London City Mission and has written Purity is Possible, Walking with Domestic Abuse Suffers and 5 Things to Pray for Your City. She attends Dundonald Church in Raynes Park, London.
*** I received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the book, my views are my own. ***