Anxiety Explained from a Psychological and Physical Point of View
by Gini Crawford, MSW
Let's define anxiety from a psychological and physical point of view, so we are on the same page when it comes to what is meant by anxiety.
A simplistic definition of anxiety is: Anxiety starts in the mind when we perceive something as fearful; this makes our body prepare for danger which includes symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety is an emotion that can have feelings of nervousness, being tense or jumpy, unpleasantness, irritability, restlessness, a sense of uneasiness, distress, dread, panic and so on. These feelings are often accompanied by physical symptoms. The symptoms of anxiety can be so slight you hardly feel them, or so intense you feel like you will die, such as a panic attack. Fear is very connected to anxiety, because when you are fearful you are probably anxious. In other words, what is fearful to you (such as your child getting hurt) is your anxiety producing source. Worry is a part of anxiety but more centered in the mind. When you are worried about something you are probably experiencing feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety and depression are different conditions, but they can occur together. Anxiety may occur as a symptom of depression. Depression can be triggered by an anxious source such as not having money to pay your bills. I have found myself during this social distancing from the Pandemic being anxious, then depressed, then both. This is because of various stressful reasons, and I am sure many of you can relate.
Everyday anxiety feelings
Here are some examples of the feelings of anxiety that you are probably familiar with: It's those butterflies in your stomach as you gave that oral report. It's the uneasiness you feel when someone dislikes you or you think they do. It's the restlessness you feel just before a tennis match. It's the feeling of apprehension you get when you realize your painful stomach problems are back. It's the feeling of stress, when you find out you don't have a job anymore. It's the troubled feeling you get in your heart when you think about sinning, or have already done something God would not approve of. It's the dread you feel when you need to deal with your abusive father. It's the pounding in your heart when you realize some man has been following you in a dark parking lot. It's the panic you feel when you are told your sister is very sick from the coronavirus.
I think you would agree with the above definition of anxiety, everyone has been anxious - it's a normal response to stressful situations. So it won't surprise you to hear, Psychology says, if you are human you will be anxious. Yet, did you know God's Word pretty much says the same thing?
God's power gets us through anxiety
God's Word tells us He is all powerful. Read John 11:17-45. The story of Jesus Christ raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11, is one of the most amazing miracles in the Bible. This passage shows us so clearly the dynamic power of God - Jesus spoke and brought immediate life from death. I have always loved this story about Jesus. It magnificently shows Jesus being our source of life through His life giving power, as well as His compassion for us (Psalm 62:11-12a).
Since our God can bring immediate life from death, do you think He can get you through any situation that makes you worried-afraid-anxious? Do you ask God for His power, His strength, to get you through an anxious situation?
Any thoughts or insights on God's power overcoming your anxious problems?
Meditate on John 11:17-45 for a few minutes.