How To Deal With Fear and Anxiety

Dealing With Fear and Anxiety in Your Life

Decision Today Radio program interview with Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC.
Keith Peters- interviewer.Intro: For the first time since Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States was attacked in 2001 with thousands of people killed in New York City, Washington, and Pennsylvania. We have had many other terrorist attacks since then. What is next for the people of America and how should we react? Decision Today’s Keith Peters spoke with a Christian counselor about how to deal with a new feeling that many Americans have never known—fear.The President of the United States tells an audience of European leaders that the Al Qaeda terrorists are seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The Federal Bureau of Investigation acknowledges that one month into its bioterrorism investigation, it cannot answer such basic questions as how many laboratories in the United States handle the anthrax bacteria. Senator Diane Feinstein of California calls the gaps in the government’s systems very detrimental to the security of the American people. With these types of headlines in the news, there are many in America who are afraid. Lynette Hoy, a counselor, certified Anger Management specialist and crisis counselor tells us there are two types of fear.

L.H. “We need to have some fear, some fear is normal and good to help us take proper precautions about protecting ourselves or being in a state of alert as the president has encouraged us to be as a nation. But on the other hand when fear overwhelms us and we’re consumed by it, then it impedes our functioning, we have difficulty carrying on responsibilities and can cause all kinds of problems in our life and it’s just based on the actual worry that’s going on in our mind rather than events that we’re dealing with.”

What is a sensible fear versus a paralyzing fear?

L.H. “When you see a dog and it’s looks like it’s running at you and about to attack you, you need to get away. You need to somehow protect yourself from an obvious, realistic threat such as that. But there are also unrealistic fears where we tend to magnify and catastrophize certain things in our minds that may happen and it may be based on just things that we’re hearing about in the news such as the anthrax or bioterrorism or more terrorist attacks and of course we may be dwelling on that and thinking it’s going to happen to us and it becomes paralyzing.”

That, in turn can cause us to think irrationally or overreact in relationships with anger or other emotions because these inner anxieties have welled up in us. Lynette Hoy says that type of fear is the enemy of faith.

L.H. “As Christians we can’t allow fear to control our minds because then we’re no longer trusting in God and so with a Christian faith is all about trusting Jesus Christ, that he cares for us, that he is sovereign, he is in control, he can strengthen us no matter what we face in life and that he can give us the peace that we need in the midst of troubles and the power to overcome our fears or handle any situation that confronts us.”

According to Hoy there are over 350 verses in the Bible that say, “Do Not Fear”.

L.H. “We are encouraged to trust God versus be fearful of any situation that we may encounter in our life or any fearful thought that may come into our minds. I think about some of the verses of Philippians 6:7 that says do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Those verses alone show us just what we can do when fear comes into our minds… that we can go to God, that we can pray and present our requests and our needs to him.”

Those promises bring a supernatural peace to every Christian who truly believes. And above all, Lynette Hoy says that it’s important to put all of these threats and worries in perspective.

L.H. “The whole world has always dealt with wars and rumors of wars and threats. We live in an insecure world and we need to have an eternal perspective on life. Number one, this world is not our home, we’re just passing through and God is not going to give us something that’s too hard for us to handle because he can give us a supernatural help to handle any situation we face. But most of all, we know that our security is with him spiritually, that one day as Christians we will be at home with Jesus and that’s our destiny.”

With that eternal perspective on life plus a focus on God’s Word, pouring out our feelings to God and seeking his guidance in these days, we can overcome these fears.

L.H. “I love this quote from Billy Graham. He wrote, ‘anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered on anything short of God and his will for us’ and so I think that once again that brings us to our knees and that we need God when ever we are fearing or fearful or overcome with worry that we need to go to him and that he is the answer to our fears and that he will guide us and he will help us and that he is our security ultimately.

Watch this Be Still and Know that I am God video for comfort and meditation.

Looking at overcoming fear through our faith in Jesus Christ, I’m Keith Peters for Decision Today.

~ Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V