The Raphael Remedy

Overcome Your Fears During Stressful Times

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Counseling

We live in an unpredictable world.  As Christians, we are not immune to feelings of anxiety from facing a health crisis such as the Coronavirus outbreak or other life-changing events as the death of a spouse or other loved one, workplace complications, financial problems, etc….  However, the phrase “fear not” is used over 80 times in the Scriptures because fear decreases our hope when we face difficult trials.

So, how can we overcome our fears?

We need to calm our fears by resting in our faith in God and in the knowledge that our God is a loving God and He is in control. “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

We might still feel afraid, but we can believe that God is with us. We may not be in control, but we can put our trust in the One who is. We may not know the future, but we can know the God who does.

If you are experiencing sleeplessness, anxiety, body tension, moodiness, indecision, depression, appetite change, or angry outbursts — chances are your body is holding high levels of stress. The media constantly informs us that the Coronavirus is highly contagious, but stress is equally as contagious. A recent study from the University of Hawaii claimed stress can be as contagious as the common cold and you can ‘catch’ anxiety from another person.

Stress becomes painful when it becomes stuck in the body, causing a variety of problems. In these difficult times, we need to be paying attention to our physical health and our mental health.

Research from California shows that the best way to deal with stress is to share our feelings with someone who is in the same situation.  When a person shares with another that they feel threatened or scared or uncertain — it creates a buffer from the fear and reduces the perceived threat.

It is absolutely true:
A problem shared is a problem halved.

 The answer during a health crisis or any other life-changing event is to create new normal routines that keep you connected to others while keeping you safe.

  • Create more intimate gatherings or walks 1:1 out in the fresh air.
  • Talk to your children and be truthful yet provide age-appropriate information. Let them know they are safe, and you will be there for them.
  • Allow your children to communicate their concerns.  It’s normal that children are repetitive about their fears until they feel calm.
  • Avoid speculation with others and instead focus on the positives.
  • Choose family-friendly movies/Netflix and enjoy family time.
  • Renew enjoyable family activities such as puzzles and games.
  • Connect with old friends via the phone or Skype.
  • Validate the fears of those around you: “Of course, you’re concerned. That’s normal.”
  • Put together a Gratitude List and share it with someone close to you.
  • Don’t forget grandma/grandpa or the elderly — more frequent phone calls, cards and letters will soothe your spirit and theirs.
  • Get in a conversation with God – Prayer is sharing your worries and concerns with Him, as well as those things for which you are grateful. Read Scripture.
  • Pray the rosary with your spouse or family.
  • Go to Adoration with a friend.
  • Look for a church with outdoor Stations of the Cross and go with a small group.
Sorrow looks back.
Worry looks around.
Faith looks up.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson
Elizabeth Galanti, MBA, MA, LMHC
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