Worry is the most significant factor that relates to the root of negative thinking (Zig Ziglar).  Anxiety and worry are based in fear and fear is based in thoughts about things that have not happened and may never happen.  Worry is wasted energy and worse.  Worry triggers the release of harmful chemical processes in the brain and body which ultimately will affect your health.  Worry feeds back on itself in a destructive cycle of thoughts, feelings, more thoughts, more feelings (and so on).  Many people are born with a propensity for worry. This can be used in a positive way (by encouraging planning and the taking of positive steps).  If left uncontrolled, however, it can create crippling fear leading to a multitude of physical and mental ailments–the least of which is chronic discomfort.  When a worry pops in your mind, take a few minutes to examine it for what it is underneath.  Is it a prompt to plan, pray, or address a real situation?  If so then take some action to address the issue.  Is it something based on nothing but fear and anxiety over endless thoughts beginning with “what if”?  This type of worry is destructive and to be corralled.  As a person who has struggled with chronic anxiety and an underlying sense of fear for as long as I can remember, I recently adopted a completely new strategy for managing my anxiety and fear.  Now, when I am nagged by a fear or worry, I immediately begin to either pray against it (if it’s something I want to prevent) or I begin mentally affirming my faith in Jesus Christ (if it’s something that keeps haunting me from the past).  The change in strategy is the result of me deciding to see my anxiety as spiritual instead of mental.  Spiritually, I can think of worry as the Holy Spirit prompting me to intercede in prayer for something that may very well occur without spiritual intervention.  When the worry is not about something I can pray against (like agonizing over past mistakes) then I think see it as an evil force whispering these things in my ear to keep me down.  In this case the affirmation of my faith makes it go away and strangely when I use that strategy that particular thing never comes to mind again–as if the battle was finally won.  I am trying desperately to fight my anxiety without the aid of medication and these two strategies have worked for me.  You may find something different works better for you (and I am certainly not against the use of medication if that’s what helps you most).  Anyone who has an anxiety disorder understands how horrible it feels and how far-reaching it’s effect can be.  My heart goes out to anyone who deals with it.

water and bridge