Patricia Reynolds-Meade, MA, LAADC, M-RAS | Article

Felling Anxious?

The Bible gives specific and clear directions to overcome anxiety. When working with clients, I use the “Worry Book” to address anxiety issues. This is a journal where the client is allowed to write for only ten minutes a day in a journal about every worry, concern, or anxious thought she is experiencing. The goal is to release these feelings in hopes of reducing their effect by being participating in another activity.

I use Philippians 4 as the guideline for my Christian counseling approach. It is also a formula for preventing anxiety. When clients can be helped to be considerate, rejoice, pray, think and behave in accordance with scripture, there is an on-going procession towards recovery. The use of medication is crucial to the process also. The medications that are used to replace the chemicals in the brain and relieve anxiety enable the client to focus and deal with the anxiety-producing stress. There is much evidence in support of medication treatment used in partnership with therapy. It must be remembered that when stress is prolonged, so are anxiety symptoms.

In approach, I redirect the client back to their core-God. The client who learns to connect with God on a daily basis learns that He is in control of our lives and will bring security as they willingly trust in the His results. Jesus gives us the counseling perspective when he spoke about worry on the Sermon on the Mount. God does know about our needs and anxieties. If we give Him first priority in our lives; we can be assured that our needs will be supplied (even in being prescribed the correct medication) and there is actually no need to worry at all.

Stress causes the brain to become chemically imbalanced. This chemical imbalance is partially genetically influenced, for each person has a different threshold for stress; however, genetics, in this case, is not the main cause of chemical imbalance. The byproduct of stress is the paramount cause of a fast paced lifestyle. An important note is how often it is much easier to correct the genetically based mental disorder i.e. anxiety; than the ones caused by learned conditions creating habitual behavior. The reason is because it is much easier to treat a chemical imbalance than it is to counsel a client about changing the way they think, feel, and behave.

Our emotional reactions have usually been influenced throughout our lives within such a substantially negative construct that reflects our lack of confidence in God. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. ‘Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”. “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. ‘His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Eliminate worry and begin moving forward to foster a stress-free life based on your faith.