Saturday, May 1, 2021

Dealing With Anxiety - Part 3



Part 3 of the study of the causes and solutions for anxiety

~~ Watch the Video ~~

 Scriptures:

  • Matthew 6:34
  • Isaiah 26:3-4
  • Psalm 56:3
  • Matthew 6:24-34
  • ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭11:25‬
  • Genesis 2:7
  • Isaiah 26:3-4

Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Traits of Wholeness
  • What is Anxiety?
  • Causes of Anxiety
  • Solutions (Review)
  • Why We Shouldn't Worry (Matthew 6:24-34)
  • Impact of Stress
  • Solutions to Anxiety
    • Help Others
    • Christian Mindsets (Romans 8)
  • Practical Techniques
    • Worry Decision Tree
    • Worry Appointment
    • Breath control
    • Attention redirection
    • Relaxation
    • Physical
    • Externalization
    • Perspective- taking
    • Social
    • Diet and Supplements
    • Rest
  • Conclusion: Return to the Garden of Eden

Matthew 6:34

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus tells us … Don’t worry… don’t be anxious

3 types of people

  1. Carefree person
  2. Detail oriented worrier
  3. Going through tragedy

The carefree person hears Jesus’ statements as permission to continue

  • Not saving
  • No goals
  • not planning

The detail/goal oriented person feels shame and hears Jesus‘s statement as condemning

  • now they are worried that they worry too much

Someone is going through a difficult situation

  • You don’t know what I’m going through
  • It’s not that easy

I hope to speak to all 3 people today…

Why is it hard not to worry?

Traits of Wholeness

We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness

How can we be  _______ healthy

  • spiritually
  • emotionally
  • mentally

Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from past experiences/wounds

We’re not just supposed to get eternal life

  • We’re supposed to have: joy, peace, patience and self control here on earth

Traits of Wholeness

  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Not seeking external approval / validation
  • Living by values and principles
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Taking ownership of your responsibilities
  • Living with purpose and passion
  • Optimism
  • Confidence
  • Healthy relationships with others
  • Not losing control of your emotions
  • Free from addictions
  • Addressing Conflict
  • Vulnerability
  • Not critical or Judgemental
  • Not jealous
  • Genuinely applaud the success of others
  • Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
  • Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
  • Not afraid to fail
  • Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
  • Selfless encounters with others
  • Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
  • You care about how others feel
  • Patient
  • Don’t give into peer/social pressure
  • Can communicate directly
  • Being led by the Spirit

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an emotion that we all get when we are in stressful situations

Apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill

Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress.  It's a feeling of fear or apprehension about what's to come.

We don’t decide to get anxious

  • It happens to us

Symptoms include:

  • butterflies in your stomach
  • racing heart
  • you feel out of control
  • nightmares
  • panic attacks
  • painful thoughts or memories that you can’t control
  • general feeling of fear and worry
  • fear a specific place or event
  • rapid breathing
  • restlessness

Causes of Anxiety

You Want to be in Control

Isaiah 26:3-4

3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,

Because he trusts in You.

4 “Trust in the LORD forever,

For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.

Control

“Uncontrollable” Stress is more toxic than stress that you feel is in your control

--Maler, 2011

The exact same stressor can have little toxic effect if the subject has a sense of control over the situation

Story: when I was a child I was poor

Fear

Psalm 56:3

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you."

Fear causes us to look into the future and erase the presence of God.

Faith causes us to look into the future and assume the presence of God.

Fear of Man

  • Worried about others opinion
  • Wanting to control others behavior

Traumatic Event

Association

  • Conscious or unconscious association

Example: Mos Def in Italian Job

Study: Dr. had a pen in his hand and poked person who couldn’t form long-term memories

  • Came back in 10 minutes later and tried to shake hands
  • They gave explanations of not trusting people with lab coats or his beard etc.
  • This shows that we have unconscious emotional associations to events that happened to us
  • We come up with reasons that are not true

This shows

  1. We have emotional associations to events
  2. We might not know consciously the cause of our fears
  3. Our stated reasons may not be the real reasons
  4. Asking yourself why isn’t always the solution

Experiment:  panty hose

Solutions (Review)

  1. Prayer
  • Brings in Heaven’s resources
  • Changes you
  1. Do What You Can do now
  • Then turn the rest to God
  1. Be Curious about others (social anxiety)
  • Show up to see not to be seen
  1. Make a decision quickly and badly (indecisive)
  2. Practice of gratitude

Why We Shouldn't Worry (Matthew 6:24-34)

Matthew 6:24-34

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.  25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life [soul], as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they? 27 And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin thread for cloth, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Biblical/Cultural Context

  • Sermon on the mount
  • Many of the audience were day laborers

The disciples left their jobs to follow Jesus. They were wandering from town to town not knowing where Jesus would lead them.

  • Not knowing what they’d eat
  • Many people in that time were hired for the day and pay it at the end of the day

Story:  follow the rabbi

The Main Point

Jesus says “do not worry”, “do not be anxious” five times

This is the main point of this passage and everything else is in support of this point

What Jesus Isn’t Saying

He’s not justifying

  • Irresponsible
  • Don’t plan for the future
  • Freeloading off of others
  • Selfish

Don’t worry… Seek ye first the kingdom of God

  • Don’t worry… Work

Don’t replace worry with inaction...replace it with God

Example: making coffee

  • You do it, but you don’t worry about it

Jesus is not saying

  • Don’t work
  • Don’t have ambition
  • Don’t plan for the future

Sowing and reaping

Your Worry is Misplaced

  • You are worrying about the wrong thing

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.   25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life [soul], as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?

mammon

a Syrian deity, god of riches; Hence riches, wealth

He’s says don’t worry about

  • What you eat
  • What you drink
  • What you wear
  • What you drive
  • the house you live in

Money can buy those things listed

We worry when we stick to things of the world first

Misplaced ambition will always bear the fruit of anxiety in our lives.  

The answer to misplaced ambition is not no ambition, but it is right ambition.  

If you prioritize your life thinking how you can get more eat more drink and more clothes then you will cut yourself off from serving God.

Example: worried about my shirt

  • Did I wear it recently?
  • I don’t want to seem too stuffy
  • I want to have an air of influence or authority
  • Authentic

Example: my floor at Adobe

Life is “More” Than Material Things

 25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life [soul], as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Life is “more“ than food in the body is “more“ than clothing. So you should be focused on the more.  

You are worrying about the wrong thing

Worry is Unproductive

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow

It only empties today of its strength

-- Skip Heitzig

Lesser to Greater Argument

26 Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they?

Jesus argues that if God provide to the lesser he will definitely provide for the greater

Worry under values our value to God

When we worry we create fictional situations that may never happen.  

It’s a Waste of Time

27 And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span?

Rap:

They in that rockin' chair crew

Meanin' they ain't goin' nowhere, but they always got something to do

  --Skillz?

Worry Shows Unbelief

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

Worry it’s pointless when trust is well placed

Worrying implies a lack of faith

You Act Like You Don’t Know God

 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Not Worrying is a Witness

Story: Judith asked why I wasn’t worried

Worry is Unbearable

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

People take the worries from yesterday, and the worries of the future and add them to the worry of today which makes it unbearable.

The secret to not worrying is to live one day at a time

“don’t cross that bridge until you get to it“

There are two days in a week we need to learn not to worry about...who knows them?

  • Yesterday
  • Tomorrow

Don’t worry about

  • the past
  • the future

God gives us enough grace to handle one days worth of worry

  • He says “give us this day our daily bread“ because that’s the way we are meant to live

“Better not trouble trouble until trouble troubles you

For you only make your trouble double trouble when you do”

Story: a man’s grocery store burned down

  • I had breakfast and it isn’t time to eat again

Need for Faith

These reasons  only work if you have faith

Impact of Stress

Stress impacts different people differently

Decision Making

Fight or flight

Stress triggers your  “fight-or-flight response,” releasing the stress hormone cortisol to make the body alert and prepared to face the threat.

  • amygdala

Our brain isn’t wired to make logical decision when we’re stressed

We narrow and simplify our options

  • all or nothing extremes

Story: roommate and thermostat

Study: When people are stressed they are more likely to choose high risk high payoff options

  • MIT Study

Digestion

Stress decreases digestion ability.

Stress can cause a range of gastrointestinal problems including

  • cramping
  • bloating
  • inflammation
  • loss of appetite

Can also

  • Causing your esophagus to go into spasms
  • Increasing the acid in your stomach, which results in indigestion
  • Making you feel nauseous
  • Giving you diarrhea or constipation

Physiological

Stress causes physiological changes

  • heightened state of awareness
  • faster breathing and heart rates
  • elevated blood pressure
  • a rise in blood cholesterol
  • increase in muscle tension

Cravings

Appetite

Eating disorders and obesity can be associated with psychological stress. Cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal glands, also increases appetite.

-- May 2017 in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

Food preferences

physical or emotional distress increases the intake of food

  • high in fat
  • Sugar
  • both

-- Harvard Medical School

Solutions to Anxiety

Help Others

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭11:25‬

“A generous person will be prosperous, And one who gives others plenty of water will himself be given plenty.”

Something bigger than you

If we do things with someone else in mind we are at a lower risk of poor mental health.  

balloon story

https://www.tiktok.com/@michael_leadon/video/6949053787218742533

https://youtu.be/slgmywT03RE

Help Future Generations

Another way to do something with other people in mind is to do work that will benefit a future generation.

  • Even if they don’t know that it was you who did it.

It will make you realize the uniqueness and importance of your life.

Find Your “Why”

If you have a “why” for your existence you can bear almost any “how”

Story: free pancakes

  • Some people focus on the reward
  • Some people focus on the obstacles

Don’t focus on what other people aren’t doing

Example: Jeff Bezos - $194B

  • He could cure hunger

Don’t focus on what other people aren’t doing

  • Joel Osteen
  • Biden/Trump
  • The rich people
  • The government

Don’t focus on things out of your control

Focus on things that impact you directly

Focus on your responsibility

Example: friend with 5 Trump posts per day on Facebook

  • But they don’t like Trump

Christian Mindsets (Romans 8)

  1. God Forgave You for Your Sins
  2. You are a Child of God
  3. Your Value is dependent on you being  child of God
    1. It isn’t Dependent on Your Works
  4. Don’t Focus on Fleshly Goals
  5. The Spirit of God is in You
  6. Your Future is Bright
  7. The Holy Spirit Helps You to Pray
  8. God can use it All for Good
  9. God  Wants You to Succeed
  10. Nothing Will Stop Jesus from Loving You

http://unchaineddisciples.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-christian-mindset.html

Practical Techniques

  1. Worry Decision Tree
  2. Worry Appointment
  3. Breath control
  4. Attention redirection
  5. Relaxation
  6. Physical
  7. Externalization
  8. Perspective- taking
  9. Social
  10. Diet and Supplements
  11. Rest
  12. Memory Verses

The Worrying Decision Tree

Separate real-time worries from hypothetical worries

What am I worrying about?

Can I do something about it?

  • If yes do what you can do now
  • Then let the worry go

If no plan what you can do and do it now

If it is a problem that you can’t do something about let go of the worry and focus on something else

My worries

  • Email about something I made a mistake about
  • FedEx - literally the first application on the web
  • Cooking egg - remembered Lila telling me how I should get my eggs
  • Paper towels on floor - why Juin so critical

# 3 and 4 need to be addressed deeper

Make a Worrying Appointment

Worry is focusing on a future threat or a past pain

This is the time to worry about hypothetical worries

  • Write down your worries
  • How concerning are they on a scale of 1 to 10
  • Are they any less worrisome now during your worry time then when it first came to mind?
  • Can I do something about it right now?

Keep a worry journal that you only look at during your worry time

When you have a thought that comes to your mind make note of it and tell yourself you were going to save it for later

Look at your thankful list after your worry appointment

Breath control

Genesis 2:7

Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living person.

  • God has breath

Can a table breathe on you?

  • No … it doesn’t have breath

In order to “breathe”, you have to have “breath”

  • God does

Down-regulation via breathing

  • Diaphragmatic breathing (deep breath)
  • Inhale through nose; hold; exhale through mouth
  • Increase duration of exhale compared to breathing

Most effective for stress - decreases energy

Box breathing

  • Used by DOD
  • Bottom up - breath controls what’s going on in head
  • Breath in - 4 secs
  • Hold - 4 secs
  • Breath out - 4 secs
  • Hold - 4 secs

Attentional Redirection

Temperature regulation

  • Hold ice

Your body thinks: What you focus on is important.

Focus Intensely on an Activity

  • Mindfully do something - e.g. wash dishes

Relaxation

Slow-paced Instrumental Music

5 Minutes of Alone Time with no Stimulation

  • No phone
  • No music

Summary of Solutions

Pray for faith and meditate on God’s truth

Have the Christian Mindset

  1. Trusting that God is in control
  2. Pray
  3. Do what you can do now and turn the rest to God
  4. Be Curious about others
  • Show up to see not to be seen
  1. Make a decision quickly and badly
  2. Practice of gratitude
  3. Have a purpose in life
  4. Help others
  5. Not being so self centered
  • Don’t focus on what others aren’t doing
  1. Worry Decision Tree
  2. Worry Appointment
  3. Breath Control
  4. Attention Redirection
  • Hold ice
  • Focus on an activity intensely
  1. Relax
  • Slow paced music
  • 5 minutes of alone time

Conclusion: Return to the Garden of Eden

Jesus came to return us to a state where we are dependent on God. Adam and Eve didn’t worry about where his next meal was going to come from.  Adam didn’t have to work to get food from the ground until after he sinned.

He didn’t have to worry about sewing only about reaping

He didn’t have to plan

Having to worry about if what you planted

  • was enough
  • sustain you in the future

was a result of the fall

Jesus came to return us to the original Garden of Eden.

When Jesus brought the Kingdom, by ushering in the Holy Spirit, He was offering us an option to free ourselves from the cares of the world.

He was offering us more than salvation. He is offering us peace.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus tells us that the cares of the world will prevent the seed of the word from taking root in our heart.  

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus tells us that focusing on material goals will cause us to be anxious.  Misplaced goals lead to worry.  If we are chasing the wrong dream, we will have nightmares.  

The kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.  

The kingdom of God is not about resolving all of your earthly issues. The kingdom of God is a means to giving all of those issues to God.

It is a trust in our heavenly father knowing that whatever you need is taken care of. Trusting that whatever He doesn’t give you wasn’t something that you needed.  Regardless of what others tell you you need.

It is allowing God’s priorities and definition of importance to dictate the priorities of our lives.  To dictate the desires of our hearts.

It is a complete trust in God and a life of being led by the Holy Spirit.

It is the path to righteousness, joy, and peace.

Isaiah 26:3-4

3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,

Because he trusts in You.

4 “Trust in the LORD forever,

For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.


References

https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/united-states-of-stress/how-stress-affects-digestion/

How to stop worrying | Matthew 6:23 - 25

Philip Decourcey

Worry anxiety and the kingdom of God

Jake LeFave

Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and More (healthline.com)

Matthew 6:24 through 34 | do not be anxious

Desiring God

The Real Science of Stress

Dr. Sahar Yousef and Professor Lucas Miller

Extra

1 Cor 7

32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;

33 but one who is married is concerned [worried] about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,

34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35 I say this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.