Monday, December 8, 2008

How Do You Handle Fear?


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.

F= false
E= evidence
A= appearing
R= real

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.

10 comments:

  1. Debbie,

    I find praying about it and talking things over with my husband the two best things I can do. I thought your list was awesome.

    Happy Monday to you!

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  2. Debbie,

    Beautiful post, photo and words of wisdom!

    I adore your heart and am so thankful every time I see your comments on my blog!

    God has 365 verses about fear not - begin to memorize one of them a day and before you know it fear will NO longer have a stronghold on you and it will be replace with His power and truth!

    Fear is the lies we believe. Truth is our faith and trust in God's word, faithfulness and love for us!

    Hugs and blessings dear friend!
    Jill

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  3. Christmas is a little scary to me, I must admit. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas but to celebrate it with my family every year I have face my greatest fear - to get into a plane. I have a very strong fear of flying. For the last two months now (since we booked the tickets) I've been trying to get my head around the idea once again. The things that get me through is the rewards awaiting for me at the other end. Flying to Alta I will meet and spend time with family and friends. I will have another wonderful Norwegian Christmas especially with Lilu (my 1 year old). On the way back I will enjoy coming home and seeing out the New Year in Tromsø (the city really knows how to party!)
    Every year I go through this fear...lol. But now its even harder because I have Lilu to fret about too...lol.
    This fear certainly makes me value the little things and also helps me to put things into the right perspective.
    Your list is very helpful, maybe this year I'll have more of a grip...lol.

    (By the way - was it a subconscious thing that you chose a Norwegian artist for your 'fear' pic? lol ;)

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  4. You may add in your list: Start blogging with Debbie!! You are so nice and good that I'm sure the effect will be possitive in all respects! Best wishes.

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  5. Debbie, I have been reading Stormie Omartins book on the Prayer that changes Everything and our response to fear should be praise instead of panic, love this post- great words of wisdom.
    BTW, I will be having something for you at my blog : )

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  6. Debra- I agree; pray and talking with hubby is best.
    Jill- Thank you for the reminder of God's promises for us. I try to memorize Scripture but I need to do it more.
    L-Jay- I actually knew that it was a Norwegian artist. LOL! I will pray that God would give you a peace this year as you travel by plane. Lilu is so adorable; love the pic of her rosebud.
    Philip- You are a kind, kind man and a good friend. :)
    Lisa- I always appreciate your comments. I've read that book too; just need to practice it. I'll check your blog. Thanks.

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  7. Been in that building (many times). It is beautiful.

    As far as fear, I have to talk to myself out loud so I can hear myself. That helps me put perspective on things.

    Except I have to admit I am beginning to experience real fear as my oldest son is learning to drive. I know I have to let go and know God is watching out for him.

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  8. For me, the best way I can fight fear or anxiety is to praise Him. Think about my blessings. Thank God by writing my thanks down. Turn on my worship music and sing. Help someone in need to get my eyes off of me. Choose what I allow into my mind. Reject what doesn't belong.

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  9. Well, my way is to imagine the worst case scenario and then ask myself if God's grace is sufficient for that situation. I know all too well that God purposes for His people to suffer very difficult things (think Job)for the sake of His glory and their sanctification and ultimate joy. (All those who desire to live godly lives will suffer.) So I imagine ways God could be glorified in the very thing I'm most afraid of. That usually soothes my heart and enables me to function once again.

    As others have said, usually what we fear does not come upon us. But I also know that it sometimes does, and I want to be prepared for that as well.

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  10. Hi Debbie,

    It helps me to just get away, like to be by myself out hanging clothes at the line or in a hot hot bath where I can relax, focus, and pray. It helps me also to talk to my husband or Mom.

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I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA