Something I learned again just now,
How my busyness engenders,
Then I begin to,
Get in a panic,
And then the world’s,
And I become manic.
But when I put a stop,
To all that noise,
Even for a moment,
God gives me poise.
“Look at the world,”
He says, with a smile,
“Don’t forget I’ve overcome it,
So refocus on what’s worthwhile.”
People are not so much against us when we struggle to keep up. The mind plays tricks and anxiety in the body-and-soul’s response to the mind’s confusion. Be gentle with your heart. Get space. Divert your attention. Attend to what is good. Enjoy God.
But, what does all this mean?
We can see with all these measures, above, and then some, that the whole idea of life in the context of anxiety is to gain perspective and refocus on those logical things – as can be readily seen by an impartial observer.
The whole theory of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is based upon realigning our false perceptions that impact our behaviours with truthful information and techniques that might resolve our anxiety, among other mental ills. Almost one hundred percent of the time those things we are anxious about can be informed with logic and reason that would otherwise settle us. This is how God gives us a portion of momentary poise.
Anxiety tends to be a build-up of matters. As we circle around and around a particular worry, a relationship going wrong, or a matter out of our control, our mind is confused and overwhelmed with what seems irreconcilable. But if we analyse what we are thinking, and get enough room above or away from the problem, we will undoubtedly receive what we need in terms of perspective. Then we have a choice whether we refocus or not. To know a better perspective, and yet to not refocus would not seem wise.
If we can do better why don’t we do better?
So the challenge remains. Will we take what we know – especially the ugly bits – and will we put it all through the sieve of logic and reason; as anyone else might see it who isn’t so actively and emotionally engaged in this tussle?
Anxiety can be alleviated through the attaining of perspective and the activity of refocusing. It buys a moment’s peace. We refocus on something more worthwhile. When we comprehend that God has overcome the world – that we have the tools to experience peace – we are quickened to act.
One thing we must do to have this work, is make it a habit – to continually seek perspective and, through the confused pain of anxiety, even still, refocus on what is beautiful about the world.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.
Postscript: this is not to make light of the inherent problems interwoven in and through anxiety, where many people suffer despite every effort made to resolve it.