The Three Parts of Dealing with Anxiety

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus                                                                                                                                                                       Philippians 4:7

As I have written before in this space, we are three part beings, and therefore healing and recovery needs to happen in all three spheres of our being. Those three spheres are the spiritual, emotional, and physical. So let’s look briefly at a plan to deal with anxiety on all three levels.

On the physical level, exercise, particularly outdoor exercise is critically important for relief of anxiety. During this COVID experience, there is a sense of being “locked down” and there is a subtle claustrophobic response going on in the background, even if we are not fully aware of it. So, if it is at all possible, get outdoor exercise for 30 minutes per day. Even if it is only 20 minutes, or even 10, the regularity of it is very important. Our brain and body crave movement, and to the extent we accommodate that, the better off we are.

Emotionally, we need to be aware of current feeling levels. There are often a lot of emotions present in us that we have not really stopped to identify and own. When we can do that, it is the first step to freedom. The emotions are the accelerators in life, and they can get out of control if they are not checked by a good, healthy cognitive “braking system”. Our mind, our will, is the executive function that can effectively govern emotions that are seemingly out of control.  Anxiety will tell us that we cannot control those emotions. Anxiety lies to us!

Finally, submission to a spiritual solution is an ultimate answer to things that feel out of control. Indeed, we cannot control everything, but God is in control. If we can recognize that- accept that, not necessarily understand that- we can have “peace that passes all understanding”.

So, that is the nutshell explanation. Of course, there is a great deal going on in each of those dimensions, but my point here is that even when we “feel out of control”, we really aren’t. That is the insidious anxiety effect that is so painful and potentially debilitating.

There is a solution for every problem. Just hang on to that.

Prayer: Lord, we accept that you have already covered our anxiety, even when we do not understand it, Amen

 

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