What’s the difference between young adults and their parents? For the former, they carry backpacks half their body weight, while those carried by the latter are invisible. Regardless of age, every person can carry too much.
Let’s make some distinctions.
First, fear can be a positive thing. It signals our sympathetic nervous system that something is wrong. It can motivate us to get our of harm’s way.
Fear can become a problem when it leads to anxiety and you are afraid of things that aren’t real, or when the feeling of fear is out of proportion to the real danger present.
Anxiety is more akin to worry, and can be aroused by a number of factors: medical conditions (lack of sleep or a blood sugar imbalance); role modeling from parents; trauma; lifestyle.
Another distinction is that fear can be looked at as imminent, while anxiety can be completely anticipatory.
From neurobiological and faith stances, here are life coaching tools for dealing with anxious worry:
What triggers your worry? Write it down! Notice the situation, the people, the feelings. Discuss with a life coach or professional.
Worry Box: write down what you’re worried about on a small sheet of paper. Worry worry worry for 15 minutes. That’s right. Then when 15 minutes is up, put the “worry sheet” in the box and be done with it. Your brain will naturally drift to another topic.
Before going to sleep at night, journal your specific worries with a pen and paper. Don’t use your laptop, as blue light from devices interferes with sleep quality (cease usage at least 1.5 hours before going to bed).
“Cast your burden on the Lord….” (Psalm 55:22).
Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost devotion for today states that God doesn’t lift our worrisome burdens because He wants to see if we will give it back to Him.
Why? He desires that you live intentionally and take responsibility for your faith journey. And how you manage worry is also an integral part of your spiritual life.
Here is a formula I’ve developed based on Chambers’ devotion:
- Roll back
Release the worry through prayer. This is what “casting your burden” looks like. It requires action on your part.
Roll back and hand over the worry to Him. This is the implication of this verse. When you do this, it leads to item #3….
Relish His presence. You have now invited Him into the everyday details that weigh you down, visible or invisible.
Hand over the backpack of worry. You were never meant to carry it.
**This blog post is not a substitute for anxiety disorders or phobias. Please seek professional counseling. You don’t have to keep living under the burden of anxiety. You have options.
This is HopeUnveiled.