Often when particular situations, places or people cause us anxiety, stress or trouble we distance and withdraw ourselves from the problem. But rather than provide a solution to our unhealthy feelings this withdrawal can actually have the opposite effect. Instead of overcoming and working through our issues we can end up having more serious and frequent problems with a greater amount of people, situations and things.
For example if we have a fear of dying or sickness and choose to deal with our fear by avoiding every mention of death or sickness throughout our day we presume this will cure our issue. However avoidance is not a cure or solution, but merely the ability for us to have a break so that we can have some time and space to then get to the root cause of our fears.
Rather than avoiding uncomfortable situations, which is never a good long term solution, some ways to begin to deal with our concerns are to:
Challenge the thought – Challenge the validity and truth of the thoughts that pass through your mind especially when those thoughts are only full of fear, anxiety, worry and concern for the future. Measure your thoughts and feelings against the truth, especially the truths found in God’s word. Not everything we hear, see or think needs to, or should be given the right to become part of who we are, and a permanent part of our thought life.
Desensitize – gradually start to desensitize yourself about what you are afraid of. Make sure you are in a safe space, and then even if it’s only for a few seconds at first, face your concerns and gradually break down the unwanted responses to them. With God’s help challenge your negative thoughts and renew and replace them with what God says. Our responses follow our thoughts, so it makes sense to have our thoughts filled with God’s Word and promises.
As we daily refuse to live in fear, anger or anxiety unwanted thoughts will literally “unstick” from our minds as we choose to shift and renew our thinking.
We don’t need to constantly surround ourselves with unpleasant things, but it’s wisdom to face our issues, challenge the truth of our thoughts, and gradually desensitize ourselves to the things that make us react negatively so that we don’t respond out of control.
God promises that He is with us, and that nothing can separate us from His love. Whatever we face, He says He will give us the strength to walk out the victory Jesus has given us through the Cross.
“For I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”. (Isaiah 41:13)
“So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. ( John 14:27)
Prayer: Today I choose to challenge every thought that tries to cause me to be fearful, angry, impatient or anxious. Please help me Lord to spend time discovering the truths in your Word, and then with your help to face and work through any concerns I have so that I am able to live free and full of joy. In Jesus name Amen