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3 Steps Through Anxiety - Part 6

Don Mackintosh
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Don Mackintosh

Chaplain/Pastor - Weimar Institute

Director - Newstart Global/the HEALTH Program (Health, Evangelism, & Leadership Training)


  • March 29, 2020
    6:15 PM
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Have you ever been filled with stress and anxiety, just kind of feel like a tightness in your chest, maybe some symptoms have come on like your heart racing? That’s happened to me, and that’s probably happened to many. And in the last few days, many are concerned; they’re anxious, especially since there’s been a lockdown in the state of California. So, what kind of things can we do to get through those anxious moments? Well, let me just share a couple strategies that have been helpful to me and others.


First of all, I remember that there are different sections of my brain, and the section that’s really firing at that time is that middle section of my brain where there is a place called the amygdala where fear and panic and all those things happen. And sometimes it’s very useful because it releases hormones that can help protect me or protect others. But sometimes it’s just over-functioning, so I have to remember not just the amygdala, but I have to remember the second thing, B – breathing.


And so, what I do at that time when I’m feeling stressed is, I say, “I need to breathe in deeply and breathe out deeply.” So, I begin to breathe in. I count for 10 seconds and very slowly, and then out. And I do that a number of times, but that’s not where I leave it.


Not only do I think about my midbrain and breathe, but I also think about what are those thoughts that are causing anxiety, and I analyze them, and I kind of re-script them, relabel them, you might say. So, instead of having fear I think, “Wait a minute. Fear is about the unknown; it’s about the future. Maybe instead of fear I can have anticipation.” And then maybe instead of frustration I can say, “Wait, I’m learning patience.” I might remember a text, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials because you’re actually learning how to be patient.”


But then, finally, and probably most importantly, I begin to think about a promise or something from God’s Word that can help me. One of my favorites is in Colossians, chapter 3, “If then you be raised with Christ, set your mind on things above, not on Earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is our life, appears, we also shall appear with Him in glory.”


And that gives me such peace because I realize my life is hidden with Christ and God, and anything that’s happening had to come through Him. And I realize He loves me; He cares for me, and that gives me more peace than anything else. And I hope it does you, too.


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