by Yolanda Stith
Anxiety is produced by the presence of fear and worry. The fear and worry can be about past events that control our present or over the future, which creates a concern about something that we can do nothing about and that we cannot even be sure about. The one who worries does not live in the moment, but in a state that is not and that may never be. The worrier feels out of control. Though he is in the present, his mind is not. His mind imagines how things will be in the future, and his imagination paints a picture that is never reality or his mind is stuck on the past replaying painful events over and over again.
Prolonged anxiety can manifest itself in the following ways: Panic Attacks, OCD, PTSD, phobias, and Anxiety Disorder. All of these conditions find their origin in fear and worry. The English word for “worry” means to choke or strangle. It is the suffocating feeling of insecurity so intense that one believes there is no way out.
Worry is the result of a person who does not believe that God is in control, or that God will work all things out for a particular good—God’s good and ours. Worry is the product of a misbelief that God is not fundamentally good, that one is alone in the circumstance, and that any wisdom to be found must be found in self.
Anxiety is the inner turmoil produced by constant and prolonged worry. While fear and worry have an object, anxiety does not. It is simply the reaction to the tension and stress brought about by fear and worry.
Anxiety can be accompanied by the following: heart pounding, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, dizziness, chest pains, or a feeling of being smothered.
A state of anxiety is produced by a fear of the future and is accompanied by thoughts of “What if…” and “I can’t…” thinking. Much of what we fear never materializes, but the core belief keeps us stuck on it.
So how do we deal with the fear and worry that produce anxiety? The same way we do with all coping mechanisms. We say no to them. We choose to resist the temptation to walk after the flesh, but before we can do this, we must choose what we are going to believe about God–is He good? Is His goodness extended to me? Can I trust His heart?
Our willingness to trust in our Heavenly Father, our Abba, is directly linked to our ability to stay in the moment and trust Him with our lives…everything in our lives. Reality is now—in the moment—and God’s grace is in the moment, not in the future that has not happened.
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7