Fear & Anxiety
Handling Anxiety: When Your World Feels like it’s Coming Apart Part 1
Text questions to Dave: 484-301-0370
What do I do when my world feels like it is coming apart?
What is anxiety? “To be pulled apart in different directions.” Appropriate descript - when exper anxiety it really can feel like you are being pulled apart. “Coming apart at the seams.”
Anxiety occurs when I import my imagination of a future event into the present and my mind and body experience and respond to it as if it is happening now.
Catastrophizing - imagining the worst possible outcome.
"What if they won't believe me or listen to me? What if they say, 'The LORD never appeared to you'?" Ex.4:1 (NIV)
Anxiety Can be Destructive Physically
“Anxiety weighs down the heart.” Prov 12:25 (NIV)
Anxiety arises from our thinking & beliefs. If you misinterpret why a good friend frowns when he walks by and does not say hello to you & you tell yourself it is bc they are angry w/ you – that can cause you to feel anxious.
Thoughts Precede Emotions:
Thoughts (beliefs) –>Emotions
To understand this let’s use a simple diagram to help (ABC)
- Activating event.
- Consequence =(emotion)
- Activating Event: People Laughing.
- Consequence: Feel embarrassed.
Why did I get embarrassed? The event: People laughing (caused me to be embarrassed). Truth: No! I got embarrassed bc I believed people were laughing at me.
- People Laugh.
- Belief – they were laughing at me.
- Consequence: Embarrassed.
Most of us skip over B (Belief) and go right to C. (consequence – emotion). Many times we are not even aware of that underlying belief. Must ID the belief/thought.
Another way to get at the “belief/thought” is to ask - what story am I telling myself right now?
Important Questions: Is my belief true? Is it false? What evidence do I have to support my belief? Are there other reasons people could be laughing? (someone told a joke; having a good time w/o even noticing me). What does God say about my belief?
What skills are necessary to stop feeling anxiety? Vitally important for us to be able to:
- Separate my beliefs from my feelings &
- Access & become aware of my underlying beliefs in a given moment.
So what you believe (what you think) will directly affect your level of anxiety.
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we drown? Mark 4:35-38 (NIV)
- Activating event: Raging Storm & Waves
- Consequence (emotion) - - Fear and anxiety.
- Activating event: Raging Storm & Waves
- Belief Jesus Does Not Care. We are going to drown!!!!
- Consequence (emotion) - - Fear and Anxiety
Anxiety & Fear not caused by the storm. Caused by underlying false beliefs!
- God Does Not Care (God is not good)
Jesus is here, he is the Son of God, but He does not care about me now, in this moment. (Some of us go beyond this and see God as downright cruel: He sees me suffering and isn’t stopping the cause of my suffering).
- God Is not in Control (He is not Sovereign) or all powerful.
Jesus is here, he is the Son of God, but he does not have control over the storms in my life. He is not Sovereign, not in Control. Who are these Disciples on the boat holding false belief about Jesus & God? What did they know? Believe? What had they experienced?
What is the truth? This passage give us two Biblical responses to the false beliefs about God that will change your view of every circumstance! They are embedded in this passage, and explicit in other passages throughout scripture.
- God loves you, Cares for you, Is with you, and wants you to experience His comfort & peace in the storm of Life.
Jesus Teaches in Word & his Deed truth that: God is Sovereign, All Powerful, and We can Rest in His Providential Control
Tim Keller wrote a short devotional on Ps 62
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
This is a psalm for those under stress, and the first verse is the key to facing it. . . . When we are in trouble our soul chatters to us, “We have to have this, or we won’t make it. This must happen, or all is lost.” The assumption is that God alone will not be enough—some other circumstance or condition or possession is necessary to be happy and secure. David, however, learned to tell his soul, “I need only one thing to survive and thrive—and I have it. I need only God and his all-powerful fatherly love and care—everything else is expendable.” When this realization sinks in, you will “never be shaken.”