Many people live in fear and anxiety much of their lives, but it is possible to break free from this bondage and live an abundant life. Here is a practical guide to living in peace:
Fear has an eco-system. Fear distorts the facts and retells the story towards a negative outcome. The anticipation of a negative outcome increases my anxiety, which unleashes more adrenaline in my body. Greater levels of adrenaline cause an increase in my toxic thoughts. This increased toxicity releases more adrenaline…and the beat goes on until I finally have a panic attack.
- When negative thoughts are not resisted, but instead cultivated by dwelling on them for more than a few hours, they become attitudes. Attitudes are a “way” of thinking. So I go from a bad thought to a bad way that I process information. Eventually, I become pessimistic. Pessimism (the attitude of negativism) actually attracts more bad thoughts, which again creates an ecosystem of anxiety.
- The ecosystem of pessimism inspires a faithless culture that affects the people around me. When they embrace my fearful, pessimistic, and thankless attitude, they extend the culture of anxiety.
- Over time, this culture of fear becomes a lifestyle of pain, panic, and powerlessness.
- But it’s all an illusion because all things work together for good in my life in the end. So if it’s not good, it’s not the end.
- I can’t always help what happens to me or around me, BUT I have 100% control over what happens in me.
- The fear cycle is broken when I take control of my thoughts instead of them controlling me. Then I proactively retell each fearful story according to God’s good intention. Slowly the adrenaline subsides and dopamine (the feel-good chemical) is released in my body, which causes me to “feel” the reality of my divine outcome. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
- Thankfulness is the simplest way to inoculate myself from fear because I can’t “feel” gratitude and “feel” fearful at the same time.
- I can proactively control the level and frequency of thankfulness in my life. I simply make a list of all the good things that have happened in my life and the good words spoken about me. Then I envision them as I repeat them to myself. This is Biblical meditation. (Read Philippians 4:4-9 and Joshua 1:1-8).
- I can transform my life by renewing the way I think. Any thought that doesn’t inspire hope in me is rooted in a lie. I reject any thought that inspires hopelessness and search for thoughts that infuse me with hope.
- I can’t afford to have a thought in my mind that isn’t in God’s mind because I have been granted the mind of Christ!