Living life on edge—that is, under constant pressure, fear, or nervousness—is no way of living. I’m talking about anxiety, a sensation that can be good at times but cruel over time.
When is anxiety helpful? Under stress, our anxiety grows. This heightened state helps us meet deadlines or escape dangerous situations. In short, it helps us get things done and in healthy measures, gives us energy. When anxiety becomes exhausting and debilitating, we know it’s not our partner—but our archenemy.
How do we return anxiety to its proper place in this partnership? If our anxiety is about some upcoming event, we can do our best to prepare for it. We study, practice, and rehearse, and when we feel sufficiently prepared, we give the rest of our worry to God. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Some of us get anxious about “what ifs.” What if my car breaks down? What if someone kidnaps my child? What if terrorists strike our nation? Understandably, there are many things we can worry about. Take heart in something Winston Churchill said: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” We can poison our lives by worrying, or we can live in the moment and know that God will take care of us, whatever happens.
To combat anxiety, we can (1) relax, (2) exercise, (3) avoid stimulants, (4) refuse to numb anxiety by drinking alcohol or taking drugs which will, in the end, give us something else to worry about, (5) commit to good eating habits and sleeping schedules, (6) find humor in our day, and (7) not take life too seriously.
God bless you,
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