Feeling prolonged levels of anxiety, fear, anger, or hurt is like carrying a weight.
A person’s brain responds to that weight of anxiety and the more pounds carried, the more cortisol the brain releases. Extended release of cortisol will literally make a person age faster. When anger, fear, or worry is prolonged — that is, when the fight/flight reaction goes on alert and remains there — physiological systems elevate for longer periods of time and ultimately become counter-productive. The result? The body wears down.
The remedy to change a consistent unwanted emotion is to face that feeling head-on. It is healthier for a person psychologically to face their giants, their fears and worries voluntarily rather than be chased by them. God said to Cain (the one who was angry and contemplating murder) ”you must master this, if you're not proactive and you sit around and wait, sin will crouch at your door, ready to pounce on you.”
Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”. It’s best for a person to find the darkness in their heart rather than waiting for it to overwhelm them.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing is changed until it is faced.” –James Baldwin
The emotion producing part of a person’s brain is trying to tell them where there are obstacles in their soul. These emotions are screaming “it's dark in here, I’m being consumed by the darkness, I don’t have enough light, I’m not strong enough.” There are lots of situations that are either dangerous or not dangerous depending upon your mastery.
What if anxiety, anger, or fear were friends rather than foes? Imagine taking all of these emotions and thoughts and using them to help envision a brighter future, freeing you from your past.
Observing courage in your self can help overcome future fears and worries.
God uses these emotions to:
- Inform us of an imminent danger
- React to danger, preparing you to adapt and survive
- Run, fight, freeze all as a mechanisms to survive for the short term
- Bring a person to an imbalance place emotionally, like waving a red warning flag
- Cry out for mastery
- Recognize the need for peace
- Lead a person to faith. Action. Prayer. Worship. A tool. Talking to a friend. Yoga/Meditation. To healing.
Action builds courage. Tell yourself, “this fear will pass.” Your world expands as your courage and willingness to grow expands. Open up your world today to face your fear.
It is normal for someone to want to avoid the things they fear. However, avoidance prevents a person from learning that the things they fear are not as dangerous as they think.
The process of facing fears is called EXPOSURE. Exposure involves a person gradually and repeatedly going into feared situations until they feel less anxious. Exposure is not dangerous and will not make the fear worse. And after a while, their emotions will naturally lessen.
You long for one true friend? You have one. And because you do, you have a choice. You can … ponder the malice of your monster, or the kindness of your Christ.
“this fear will pass, I will not be consumed, I will become victorious!”
This week try facing one of your giants with the mindset that you are courageous and brave. Speak to yourself all the way to the battleground, “this fear will pass, I will not be consumed, I will become victorious!”
Next week I will begin a discussion regarding one of my favorite tools: “How To Renew Your Mind”. Have a peaceful week!