What "Be Anxious For Nothing" Actually Means
I never understood this before.... 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I've heard this verse my entire life but never quite grasped it. I got that I was supposed to trust God but it sure was hard when the overwhelm hit me like a ton of bricks or I woke up with that "elephant" on my chest. I started diving deeper into the meaning and the root of anxiety to understand it more.
Remember when you were a little girl and you thought there was a monster under the bed? You were short of breath, your skin felt clammy and your heart rate was up. As soon as mom or dad came and looked under there to verify you were indeed safe, all of that anxiety went away like magic! I know I have that same "monster" experience often as an adult but why does it happen?
According to Thais Gibson's, The Anxiety Handbook, she says "Anxiety is ultimately the result of a buildup of unresolved problems in your subconscious mind. Your brain is biologically wired to “complete scenarios”, meaning automatically imagine the end result of certain situations. However, your subconscious is also programmed to be survival-oriented.
Therefore, many people ultimately end up imagining the worst case scenario as, essentially, a means of self-preservation. However, this can generate immense levels of stress if gone unchecked. When this thought process occurs frequently on a daily basis without you actively monitoring yourself, anxiety ensues.
For example: consider the negative thoughts that occur daily such as being late to work and wondering if your boss will fire you. These passing thoughts are stored in your subconscious mind. They essentially leave bits of negative emotional residue in your mind every time they occur on a passing basis. Then, your subconscious tries to bring those unanswered questions or unresolved problems to the surface of your conscious mind to be answered since it is self-preservation oriented.
This is why many people feel anxious, and believe it is over “nothing” - because the subconscious has stored every negative emotional story that has passed through your conscious mind, and is trying to force you to begin to strategize and form solutions.
Whoa! Is this as eye opening for you as it is for me? So if our mind is set on Christ and holding His promises that say " Romans 8:28 KJV - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." then we can limit the amount of residual negative emotion!
Does that mean we won't ever experience anxiety again? YES! Just kidding...we're human so, um yea. However we can reduce the amount of times it becomes debilitating fear and overwhelm. If we can feel the anxiety, give it a shape, give it a color and feel where it is, it becomes less scary. Ask God to help you work through those "unfinished" stories you have stored in your mind's library.
If we can remember that GOD is the author and finisher then we have no need to fear the future.
How does this idea feel for you? Let me know in the comments!