Redeemer Counseling Newsletter
Becoming Okay with Anxiety: The Antidote to Fight or Flight
When clients seek counseling for anxiety, their symptoms have often reached the point of becoming unmanageable. Anxiety is a normal biological response to stressful situations; God’s intent in designing this response was to help us survive threats to our safety. Because we live in a fallen world and inhabit fallen bodies, our bodies do not function in the perfect way God intended. The fear system can go into overdrive, turning appropriate, fleeting worries into excessive and irrational ones. Trauma and wounds we encounter can heighten people’s perception of threat, impairing their ability to differentiate real danger from everyday challenges. This can interfere significantly with their ability to live a normal life. Clients may have difficulty with daily activities like sleeping, concentrating on tasks, attending social events, or driving.
When anxiety surfaces, our body prepares us for exertion with the “fight or flight” response, flooding us with hormones. People may instinctively try to fight off the physical symptoms of anxiety, but this only intensifies the emotion. Instead, as counterintuitive as it may seem, it is more helpful learning not to fight against it. This month's tool will focus on teaching clients how to sit with anxiety, acknowledging where it shows up in the body and inviting God into the experience.
Next month, Redeemer Counseling will address this topic of anxiety in more detail in its training workshop for ministry leaders and others that would like to gain insight and learn skills about how to minister to people that struggle with anxiety. If you would like to learn more, check out our training workshops webpage.
Evelyn Ngeow, LCSW