Christian counseling can help you deal with anxiety, worry and stress. But first, you must recognize stress, worry and anxiety when you encounter it.
Do the experiences of these people seem familiar?
- Barbara has been restless and sleeping poorly for weeks. Her stomach is always in a knot, and she can’t take deep breaths. At the clinic her doctor asked, “Do you feel you are under any stress?” “No,” replied Barbara, “Just the usual. A child having some school and friendship issues. Bills that can’t be paid. Collection agencies calling. An older parent with an uncertain medical condition. And now personal worries about my health and if I have cancer or am having a heart attack.”
- William goes to work earlier and earlier each morning. The pressures at work to increase productivity come with a veiled threat that he could lose his job if he can’t increase productivity. Imagining the thought of being out of work at his age and trying to help his children through school is too much.
- Mike and Rachel don’t know what to do. Each is aware that things are not going well in their relationship, but both are afraid to say anything out of concern that the other will get upset and angry. Things about the kids, the budget, commitments outside of the home, drinking and in-law problems only have brought out hurt and anger in the past. Instead of talking together, each feels trapped and afraid to risk upsetting the peace.
- A recent college grad, Hannah was excited about her new job and apartment. But, after buying a new car and signing a twelve month lease, her ability to pay all of her bills is day to day. Now her student loans are due.
These are all situations involving stress. How we handle stress in life can impact our decision-making, relationships, health, and over-all wellbeing.
Stress Is a Normal Part of Life
I describe stress and stress-inducing events as anything that activates our body, emotions, and thoughts. Ideally, things in and around us in life activate and get our attention, prompting us to immediately and effectively deal with the thing that caused distress. Throughout the day, we may experience stress while driving in traffic, read an email, have conversations or notice signs of hunger or tiredness. Then in most every case we respond to the activating distress in ways that restore safety and peace.
When Stress Isn’t Turned Off
There are times when challenges activate us in life, and the normal stress response does not seem to reset to quiet mode. In these moments in life, our bodies can become depleted and we might become physically sick. Stress might also lead one to fear making a decision, make a poor decision, or to avoid a decision at all. Even more damaging is when stress affects our self-confidence, hurts our relationships and jobs, or creates confusion with God and others.
God Cares About Our Worries and Stress
Here are some verses that help me when feeling distressed:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
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 guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Help for Stress and Anxiety
While prayer and reading the Bible can give us a higher perspective regarding our stress, there are many times a Christian counselor can help as well. Having someone to talk with and sort out stress in a safe and clam setting is important. Also talking with someone can help in obtaining a clearer perspective about stressful things help. Then finding ways to manage and resolve the area of worry helps. But also knowing someone else can sit and walk with you during a difficult time and offer prayer, encouragement and accountability during a difficult time is reassuring.
Christian counselor Dr. Douglas Frey believes in Biblical principles and bringing forth God’s grace in meetings and sessions. Call or email Douglas Frey Ph.D. (952-920-2789) if you or a loved one suffers from stress, worry, anxiety, depression or other problems. He is a licensed Christian counselor serving individuals and families in Eden Prairie and nearby Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and other Twin Cities Western Suburbs.