Fear seems to be a very real emotion for many people today. I almost hate to turn on the news. All I seem to hear is doom and gloom. Phrases like Depression, recession, rapidly declining stock market and layoffs are becoming common. I doubt that there's anyone who hasn't been impacted in some way by this current climate of uncertainty and increasing fear.
I attended church yesterday and the title of the sermon was "The Challenge of Christmas: Overcoming Fear". No matter where you go this topic is being discussed.
I remember hearing a motivational speaker give this acronym for fear. I think it was Zig Ziglar.
I thought I'd share a few ideas of my own and ask you to share how you handle fear.
- Be realistic: Take an inventory of what you're really afraid of. Are you afraid of what might happen or has it aleady occurred? A good friend once told me that we waste so much time worrying about things that may never happen.
- Consider any actions that might be helpful: How can you take action to improve the situation? Taking action often helps to allay fear. I tend to make lists.
- Don't panic: You actually do have a choice in how your respond.
- Pray: I find comfort and help knowing that God sees my circumstances and hears my petitions.
- Don't isolate yourself: In the sermon at my church, Pastor Dan said that when you're hurting the most, you need to fellowship with others instead of isolating and withdrawing. I don't know about you, but my tendency is to withdraw. Instead, it might be healthier to spend more time with friends.
- Ask for advice: For many people, it's hard to admit they don't have the answers.
- Talk to someone: This goes along with not isolating yourself. Sometimes a counselor or pastor is the one to seek out. Other times it may be a good friend who is willing to listen.
- Get some exercise: Simply going for a walk can help to deal with fear and anxiety.
- Take a moment for yourself: Take a bubble bath, take deep breaths or simply turn off the distractions and be still.
Take a look at this photo I took yesterday in church. I don't know about you but there's something so calming about worshipping with other people. We sang Christmas songs and hymns together in a beautifully decorated sanctuary. It was a special morning to get in touch with the real message of Christmas.
So, how about you? I know my list isn't complete. I'd love to hear any insights you may have about dealing with fear and anxiety.