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CNLP 303: Rebekah Lyons on How to Overcome Stress, Anxiety and Panic Attacks, and the Rhythms that Create a Sustainable Pace in Life

Rebekah Lyons, a driven, young leader who was accomplishing an extraordinary amount at home and at work, had her first panic attack out of the blue in 2011. The last eight years have taught her so much about how to handle the stress, anxiety and frantic pace of life today.

In this episode, she shares the rhythms that have helped her—and other driven creatives—find rest, meaning and purpose in the midst of a frantic world, and what to do when you relapse and the anxiety and panic return.

Welcome to Episode 303 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Rhythms of Renewal Trailer

You are Free by Rebekah Lyons

The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Why Women are Fading by Rebekah Lyons

Discover Your Healthiest Rhythm quiz

Rhythms for Life podcast

3 Insights from Rebekah

1. Relapse is an opportunity for empathy

Seven years spanned between Rebekah’s first panic attack and her second. Her relapse, as she calls it, caused her to ask all sorts of questions about what to do with it. In this instance, it increased her empathy for others struggling with anxiety. She became more vulnerable and was able to connect more deeply with others, no matter their faith, because of it.

Rebekah said, “I’m so grateful for that moment because it reminded me that you don’t take credit for any of this. There’s an empathy for the person who has a victory season and then a struggle season. When those trials come, how do we respond? It gave me a tender heart for people. It gave me more dependency on God, which I think is the goal so that our faith can grow.”

2. We have input rhythms

Rest and restore are your input rhythms. Rebekah views rest as the health of the inner life, our spiritual health. She says that the reason we’re so stressed out and burned out is because we have forgotten how to rest. To resolve this, Rebekah carves out an hour in her morning for an extended time of quiet. No noise, no music, no nothing. She spends this time reading and journaling.

Restore is for physical health. Restore is all about what we’re putting in our bodies. Rebekah, asks, “How are you stewarding the life we’ve been given?” She says that while diet and exercise are a big part, so is play. Take a moment to reflect how you are resting and restoring.

3. We have output rhythms

Connect and create are your output rhythms. Rebekah tells us about the loneliness There’s a loneliness epidemic. In a recent survey of Millennials and adults up to age 38, 46% said they experience high feelings of loneliness, and 27% believe they don’t have one real, deep friend, one real, deep friend. Rebekah tells us, “That’s a problem because we’re online talking to everyone but connecting with no one. I think part of this idea around connect is to make sure we’re carving space for that.”

So, you have community and then with that community, you create amazing things. Rebekah defines this as, “Where your talents and your burdens collide.” In Rhythms of Renewal, she covers this in the chapter titled, “Work With Your Hands.” She says, “I think part of it is we’ve lost the art of just actually doing the tactile things. I challenge people, figure out what you could create with your hands. Recover those things, those hobbies, those places of enjoyment. Because that’s the holistic picture of health.” Take a moment to also think about how you make time for connection and creation.

Quotes from Episode 303

I believe God created our bodies in rhythm, the universe and nature in rhythm. When we stay within those boundaries, we flourish and walk in peace and purpose. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

A bit of our lives start to reflect transformation and abundance and joy and honesty when we have relapse. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

There's empathy for the person who has a victory season and then a struggle season. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

Part of what vulnerability does is that it keeps us healthy emotionally. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

I started to realize that when you're sick, you only look inward. But when healing begins, you look up and you look out and you see everyone else. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

There are moments where that desperation where we have nowhere else to turn is when God is ready to move. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

Rest is not optional to God. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

The reason we're so stressed out and burned out is because we have forgotten how to rest. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

I think we are invited by God to take inventory of our days. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

I do believe that the measure of trial you've endured does directly relate to the measure of hope you can offer the world. @rebekahlyons Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 303

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Next Episode: Chris Lema

Chris Lema has becone somewhat of a household name in the coder and WordPress community. In this episode, Chris talks about the early days in Silicon Valley and how much the internet has changed, even in the last five years. Chris shares best practices on what to do to stand out online, what it takes to get noticed and gain traction, and what mistakes to avoid.

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