What is Anxiety?
The dictionary has these definitions of anxiety:
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
"he felt a surge of anxiety"
A strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
"the housekeeper's eager anxiety to please"
The NHS says this on anxiety:
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.
Anxiety becomes a disorder if you have these symptoms, long term or repetitively.
Imagine worrying about something all the time, or feeling that something bad will happen for periods of hours, days, weeks or months.
Imagine what it must be like to feel you have got to do something or have to complete something that is probably not possible for you or most likely completely unimportant to the rest of the world, imagine the isolation of feeling like that.
That is what it is like to suffer with anxiety.
Your anxiousness has worked your mind into a state of “emotional hijack”, a state where an individual's cognitions are overpowered by their emotions. It is usually referred to in the context of aggression or fearfulness.
When in this state you are unable to hear any sound logical advice or help that is being given to you. We might better recognise this state as something like a panic attack.
It is why in films you see people in states of shock or hysterics being slapped hard across the face. This is an attempt to snap the person out of the reality they are experiencing in that moment back into the reality that everyone else is experiencing; an attempt to bring the person into a place to start dealing with facts over feelings.
Another much gentler way of achieving this is to have the person breathe quickly in and out into a paper bag, or count backwards from 100 in fractions of 7.5.
This is done to force the mind to think on something else, not on the issue real or imagined.
In my eleven years as a prison officer I have seen and used variations of both methods with varying levels of success.
Whether we shock the mind back into reality or help it back there gently, this is the process to freedom from anxiety.
The steps are the same as they are to find freedom from anything:
Believe God is sufficient to deal with your fears, problems and situations. Repent from old habits, fearfulness and sins ways of coping; then make the conscious effort to turn away from them and turn to God.
Following this is the one that everyone falls down on; we need to apply what Jesus teaches, live out the wisdom that the Bible gives in your everyday lives. Nothing changes unless we change something. The practicalities are different, but the steps are always the same.
Let’s start here:
Being IN CHRIST is very important, in fact the most important thing we can do to overcome anything. It is the only thing that brings us salvation.
Maybe you don’t think it can work for you? Maybe you are anxious about it because nothing has worked before? Read this verse:
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”
As you can see the Bible has a lot to say about fear and anxiety, this is only a tiny portion; there are hundreds of verses in the Bible telling us to not fear!
For me the way God deals with anxiety is shown best in the story of Elijah. This one story tells us everything we need to know about how God deals with anxiety and fear; it also tells us what we should do about it IN CHRIST.
Most often I come across people in recovery crippled by fear and stunted by pride.
Both of these stop recovery and restoration in Christ and as I said when I began these series of studies; shame is the doorway to all these other emotions.
Shame holds the door open for anxiety/fear and pride.
The next topic we will look at is the same one action we can take that closes that door. It is more than an idea, more than an emotion and more than an action; at the same time it is all of them.
It is at the core of Believe, Repent and Obey; Forgiveness
Thank you for reading
I hope you enjoyed the study.
If you have any questions
please fill in the form
For any queries or questions please fill in the form below