Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

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Beverly looked fantastic when she moved. So does faith. In a twisted, sad way our very ability to believe falsehoods proves the existence of faith. The Muslim extremists responsible for the World Trade Center massacre acted in the name of Allah, possessed with the expectation of an instant virgin-filled paradise.

The Medieval Inquisition stretched over several centuries, with people killing and torturing in the name of God. The Aztecs brought human sacrifice into the golden age, killing 20, a year in appeasement of the sun god. The list of religious atrocities throughout human history reads like a sci-fi war epic.

Alongside these wicked deceptions, tamer lies multiply like flu viruses. The challenge is how to use faith in a responsible, healthy way, believing in truth instead of lies. We human beings tend to let fear rule us. Even though surrounded with evidences of good, we focus on potential threats. I think of my friend Mark, who grew up in a horrifically abusive environment.

For many years he has been safe, away from the perpetrators; yet his nervous system tells him the danger persists. If Mark sees 10 evidences of safety, and just one potential threat, he will believe the potential threat.

Grow | Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

A man who looks a little like his abusive father. A Facebook message from a nasty relative. A friend saying something mildly insensitive. These negatives loom large, vibrating with living color, while the blessings all around—the loyal roommate, the compassionate boss, the supportive church family—shrink into a dark corner of his imagination. Blame it on a well-documented psychological phenomenon called the negativity bias. Deep in your brain resides two little almond-shaped organs called the amygdala.

These little miracles of nature preside over emotional memories. Fair enough. But the amygdala are ill-tempered little guys; two thirds of their neurons look for bad news, while only one third look for good news. In response to this, Rick Hanson, Ph. The good news is that with a little mindfulness, we can retrain our brains to be more positive. We may naturally dwell on the unfortunate and problematic; but we can teach ourselves to keep in mind the bright and happy.

What makes you afraid?

Many people suffer from debilitating anxiety. In fact, 18 percent of Americans will be diagnosed at some point in their lives with an anxiety disorder. Joe suffers from what Forbes magazine lists as one of the nine most common phobias: public speaking. Free parking had been listed as a company benefit, Joe had complained to his supervisor. The clock is ticking toward his presentation in just a few weeks, and Joe is a mess. To help him work through his overwhelming fear, he makes an appointment with a therapist, who assures Joe that he will be able to manage his fear through prayer, faith, and a few well-chosen action steps.

This will help him begin to identify a very important concept—that thought processes underpin emotions. If Joe can change his thought processes, his emotions should gradually calm down. After a few counseling sessions, Joe realizes his fears tend to be irrational—based on distortions, rather than accuracies.

He begins a three-step process of changing his distorted thoughts using the acronym F. Essentially, Joe is learning to exercise faith in what is true, rather than believing a lie. Joe begins to rein in his thoughts and within a few days feels a measure of relief from the nerve-racking anxiety. But the presentation still looms before him. The therapist now teaches Joe about systematic desensitization, a strategy to move Joe past his fears. Avoidance of public speaking has increased his fear of it.

He must now cease to avoid it in order to conquer the fear. But to be overexposed to it might actually worsen the situation. Putting Joe on the stage of Carnegie Hall, for example, would cause a complete meltdown and reinforce his avoidance. So the therapist proposes gradual exposure using deep relaxation. This way Joe can build a new association—between public speaking and calmness rather than public speaking and fear. During a counseling session, the therapist helps Joe learn to relax see sidebar at left.

Once Joe is relaxed, the counselor asks Joe to imagine himself in front of the staff at his company. He must repeat the relaxation exercise in his car before work, then go into work and ask to meet with a small group of three or four people to talk about his parking lot complaint.

The next weekend at church, Joe must offer to do a simple act of public speaking, such as reading a Scripture—of course after relaxing in his car. Since emotions are a by-product of how we evaluate our circumstances, the Israelite evaluation that the circumstances were dangerous certainly provoked the emotion of fear! Enter David: same circumstances, but a different interpretation dangerous, but His God was bigger than the dangerous circumstance , and therefore a different action fight and kill the giant as he had the lion and the bear , and therefore a different emotion victory, praise and gratitude to God, peace.

Love changes the focus from self and self-protection to loving and serving God and others. Free Download. Get one of our free downloads on overcoming fear and worry here. Counseling Offer. If anxiety has got a hold of you, please reach out to one of our biblical counselors. We counsel in person in the Chicago area and also by Skype. Contact us. God bless you and yours! Hi, please tell me where to get some hellp. I am down to lbs. It started 4 yrs ago when I lost my sense of taste and smell. I have been through test for physical conditions.

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All normal. I love the Lord and have been praying, reading my bible, watching Christian tv. I will go out once a week with my husband to see our moms.

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  4. Can you tell me of some good counseling near Charlotte NC? Keep praying.

    How to Overcome Worry and Anxiety with This Simple Mindfulness Technique

    God is near. Be sure to reach out to one of these counselors. Keep us informed. Thank you! God grant you peace!

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    Your email address will not be published. Three types of ungodly fear: 1. Worry takes its toll on both your body and soul. It feels very real to you. An Antidote to Fear and Worry Perfect love casts out fear. So how do we help our counselees, or how do you have victory over your anxiety? We are passionate about helping hurting people. We provide Skype counseling for people across the country, and live counseling in 5 offices across the Chicagoland area.

    Are you interested in learning to counsel others? We believe that the Bible has the answers for a hurting world. We are passionate about training people and churches, through online courses and events, to help those in need. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

    First Name. Last Name. Download Now - Free. By submitting the form, you're opting in to emails from BCC. Do you need help from a counselor? Submit the form below to have someone follow up with you:. Individual or Marriage? Individual Marriage. Nearest Location? Phone Number. At which training center did you complete your training?