Does Anxiety Weigh You Down?
Does anxiety weigh you down? Does it impact the decisions you make and control your life?
The Bible addresses the issue of anxiety.
Philippians 4 v 6 says ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’ and 1 Peter 5 v 7 reminds us to ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you’.
God knows we get anxious, after all he created us, and He knows and understands how we work. Anxiety is a real experience and the Bible says we have an enemy, the devil, who will use it to tie you down and restrict your life.
John 10 v 10 ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’.
It maybe that you can identify with this; you feel that you are not living your life to the full because of your anxiety.
Anxiety and fear are often put under the same umbrella, but it’s important to know that they are different. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by exposure to danger. Anxiety, however, is being troubled and uneasy in the mind.
‘Fear sees a threat and anxiety imagines one’. (Max Lucado)
For example, imagine a caveman eating his lunch and he sees a sabre toothed tiger in the distance. His body will prepare him to either stay and attack the tiger or run away. That is the sensation of fear and it is there to protect us from danger and is known as ‘fight or flight’. The next day he is again sitting eating his lunch and he hears a rustle in the grass. He begins to get the same bodily sensations as the day before, he begins to feel panicky. Then he realises that it was just the breeze in the grass and not the tiger. He had become anxious.
So often we become anxious because we imagine or think ‘what if’ something will happen. Something will trigger our anxiety, something that reminds us (consciously or unconsciously) of an experience from the past. The brain defaulting to survival mode when it doesn’t need to.
That’s why putting our trust in God and asking him to help us through these times is so important.
Philippians 4 v 4 – 9 reminds us to:
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you’.
If you are feeling anxious ask yourself, why? Do I need to be afraid?
Take some deep breaths and control your breathing
Centre your thoughts on God and rejoice in who He is.
Pray and ask for his protection and peace
Trust God to be there with you.
Take your thoughts captive, don’t let them run away without you.
Have good positive thoughts. Philippians 4 v 8 reminds us to think on the good things in life.
Remember most of all that:
‘The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him’ Nahum 1 v 7
Further reading – ‘Anxious for nothing’ by Max Lucado