As I write this article, I am holding in my prayers all the people in the Southeast U.S. and the South Pacific Islands who survived flooding and the tsunami that struck in September. I am also holding in my prayers all the people who are living with the anxiety of not knowing the whereabouts of loved ones or how they will rebuild their lives.
According to my Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling, anxiety can be explained as “A psychic response of dread or fear to a vague, unspecified threat. Anxiety as a psychic condition is experienced by all human beings, although it may be trigged by different sources for different persons. There are different types of anxiety and various theories about it, but, at its core anxiety signals the threat of a fundamental loss or separation.”
Anxiety has become an ever increasing presence in our lives. The increasing strength of hurricanes and wild fires; the continuous loss of life in Afghanistan and Iraq; the financial insecurity that many of you and your families’ are experiencing due to unemployment or underemployment are all valid reasons to feel anxious.
We all have different levels of tolerance and ways to cope with anxiety. While some people choose to meditate, others abuse legal and illegal drugs. Some people choose to become physically or verbally abusive, while others withdraw emotionally. Over eating becomes an option for many people, and for others rejection of food.
The way you deal with your anxiety will affect every aspect of your life. Therefore, I encourage you to become more aware of what you are feeling and what your body is communicating to you. When you feel butterflies in your stomach, tightness in your neck or shoulders, pain in your lower back or suffer frequent headaches, I suggest you acknowledge what you are feeling physically and process/reflect on what is causing your discomfort. Awareness and being proactive will go a long way in lessening your anxiety.
As always I would love to hear from you. You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog at http://uuyayaoc.blogs.uua.org/.
Living My Faith,