How to Use a Flipbook to Reduce Your Anxiety•
Posted on January 16 2020
How to Use a Flipbook to Reduce Your Anxiety
When I decided to start an online leg of our business, Shabby Creek, I didn’t think I would be writing much about Christianity, as our focus is on home and décor. You can only quote so many Bible verses before you start looking like a ‘holy roller’.
Yet, I realized that most people have a verse or quote of some kind that speaks to them and brings them peace. Bible verses can be a way to share your faith without saying a word and they serve as a good reminder when we need it the most.
With that said, not everything in our online store has a Christian verse on it. In fact, some products in our store may offend Christians, but everyone has their own personal walk and journey. I am not easily offended, and I still make mistakes daily, but every day I pray that God will show me who I might bless in his mighty name.
I didn’t set out for my first blog post to be about my faith, but even if you’re not a Christian, you may still relate to this article.
My Personal Experience with Anxiety
You see, I’ve experienced some crazy anxiety throughout my life. I prayed about it, went to counseling, took doctor prescribed medicine, read countless books, and listened to CDs in my car (back when that was a thing). It took me 35 years to put everything I learned together and to confidently function without fear of anxiety.
Let me preface this by saying “I am not cured”, I am at peace with it, and I know how to deal with my anxiety when it happens. Some days it kicks my butt and I have to take something and go to bed. But, I can honestly say it occurs less than 3 times a year now.
How Does Anxiety Occur?
The first thing I learned about anxiety is that it’s your body’s natural response to fear. Know that your body is doing exactly what it’s designed to do.
Anxiety starts in the mind and then sends an emergency signal to your adrenal glands. These glands are essential to life and are responsible for producing sex hormones and cortisol — the body’s primary ‘stress hormone’. When too many of these hormones get released into the body, the brain kicks into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
Here’s the official definition: Adrenal glands are triggered by the sympathetic nervous system in cases of emergency or stress, and then adrenaline is released from the glands into the bloodstream.
This is the reason someone can lose a limb or have a serious injury and after a few minutes, they’ll feel no pain and be completely calm. That’s their adrenal glands at work, sending hormones to the affected area to help stop or mitigate the pain.
Some Valuable Tips to Ease Anxious Feelings
These ‘fight or flight’ hormones take longer to get out of your system when you’re laying around, which used to be my ‘go-to’. I would crawl into bed when I felt anxious, but it's actually the worst thing you can do. It’s much more productive to get busy, move around, take a walk, or clean around the house because being active can help bring those hormone levels down.
Another valuable tool I learned came from my therapist. She worked hard to give me the best tools to manage my anxiety. She taught me that it was physically impossible to hyperventilate when you sing. So, she suggested turning on the radio while singing along.
Also, she taught me several visualization techniques that were extremely helpful as well. They’re a bit long to write here in this article, but I’m happy to share them with you if you send me an email.
The feeling of anxiety and excitement are brought on by the same hormones….It’s just your brain’s response to these feelings that change the dynamics of the outcome.
The Teachings of My Faithful Daughter
I know exactly what caused my anxiety and they all stem from traumatic things that happened to me as a child. I know the triggers as well, although sometimes a trigger happens without me catching it.
Back when my daughter was 8 or 9, my anxiety was off the charts. It was so bad that I would drop her off at school and then sneak back a couple of times a day to make sure she was okay.
This went on for months until the day my sweet little girl got in the car and said, “Mom, why do you always come back and peek in the window? I see you a few times a day.”
I didn’t have a good lie prepared, so I blurted out, “I’m afraid something might happen to you.”
With her childlike confidence, my daughter said, “God wouldn’t let anything happen to me.” I was shocked at her reply and said, “Well, how do you know?” Her answer stuck with me, it was simply “I JUST KNOW.”
That was the kind of confidence I wanted to feel. That kind of peace you get from faith — a childlike faith. As a Christian, I believe in God and pray often, but I didn’t study the Bible.
So, when my daughter got in my car and told me about her daily Bible study, it sparked an interest and necessity in me to start reading the Bible, so I could help answer her questions.
Bible Study Gave Me Another Helpful Tool
Little did I know that the journey would lead me into a deeper relationship with Our Father. I started at the beginning of the Bible and as I read, I became frustrated and confused by the names, families, terminology, etc. However, as fate would have it, a good friend of mine shared quick and easy Bible studies taught by Havilah Cunnington.
After I dropped my daughter off at school each morning, I put Havilah's Bible study on during the drive home. One of my favorite teachings was called ‘radical growth’. Havilah talked about having anxiety herself and how our bodies were not meant to process large amounts of anxiety.
She also said that anxiety was a result of a corrupt world, which was not God’s intention for us. This made sense to me, as my understanding of Our Father’s love for us, was growing.
One of my favorite tools (although there were many) I got from Havilah’s Bible study is what I want to share with you. It’s also the inspiration behind this blog post. If you’re not Christian, but want a way to deal with your anxiety, this is still a good option — just put your own spin on it.
Using a Flipbook for Anxiety
Havilah talked about a flipbook she used when she was anxious. On one side of a 3 x 5 index card, she wrote down her fear or anxiety. On the other side, she wrote down a Bible verse. Whenever she needed to she pulled out her cards and flipped to the feeling she had and read the Bible verse on the back.
This was a game-changer for me! Just the activity of writing down my fears and then finding a verse that spoke to me was a huge transformation in the way I dealt with my anxiety.
Interesting fact: The Bible says “Do Not Fear” 365 times.
Front of card: “I’m afraid of so many things.”
Back of card: “My grace is sufficient for you, for MY POWER IS MADE PERFECT in weakness.”
I can’t stress enough the importance of writing down the words on each card, rather than typing them up or having someone else write them for you. When you physically write something down — you take ownership of it.
Start by writing down one fear you have or something that causes you anxiety. Then dive into your Bible, and find a verse that brings you and this situation peace when you read it.
Other Uses for Flipbooks
- Flashcards for Students. Your student can use these cards to study for an upcoming exam or to prepare for an in-class presentation.
- Recipes: Take all your old lose recipes and put them in a flipbook, or make a flipbook for your college student with easy budget-friendly recipes.
- Notes: Up for interpretation.
- Bible Study Groups: For a while, I’ve wanted to do a Proverbs 31 study group and incorporate the flipbooks. But, I really think any Bible study lends itself to flipbooks. You could correlate the verses to your daily life.
- Quick Ideas: Sometimes you have bright ideas that you don’t want to forget.
- Lookbook: When you have decorating or crafting ideas, you could print a small thumbnail and paste it to a card and add some notes.
I’d love to hear how you would use a flipbook! Let me know in the comment section below.
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