Anxiety and stress are words that are commonly thrown around in the medical and psychological community. Did you know that anxiety and stress can also be a contributing factor to diseases such as hypertension, angina, chronic fatigue syndrome, incontinence, insomnia, migraines and much more?
What is not usually apprehended is how to deal with it. One may be instructed to change their diet, add exercise, try positive thinking or even a drug to bring relief. At Be in Health®, we are not interested in just managing disease. instead, we believe that the root of the issue needs to be identified and dealt with for a person to receive complete freedom and healing.
We need to begin by understanding what anxiety and stress actually are. Basically, they are a modern, “correct,” way of saying that a person has fear. Fear can be a deeply rooted issue traveling down generations and passed through generational iniquity and programmed patterns of thought in response to past experiences. There are two types of fear: the God-designed fight or flight response and the enemy’s designed long-term state of being in fear.
We have been designed by God with a fear mechanism that triggers a fight or flight response when we are faced with a potentially dangerous situation, like a bear in our path. Immediately various hormones and chemicals are released into our body in order to increase muscle strength and to suppress unnecessary body functions for that moment such as digestion. As adrenaline courses through our bodies and supplies a burst of strength and energy, we are able to take quick action to remove ourselves or protect ourselves from that danger. Once we are out of harm’s way, we can come back into peace and everything should function as it was intended to once again.
The issue comes when a person is in a prolonged state of fear, anxiety, and stress. Perhaps they are concerned about what is going to happen tomorrow or worried about what someone thinks about them. Perhaps they feel driven to perform in order to measure up to some sort of standard. There could be financial stresses, work-based anxieties, fear of the unknown. The list can go on. Now what happens is that those same hormones that help us during a fight or flight response continue being secreted in small doses, long-term. Over time, they start causing damage to certain body systems.
One thing that can happen as a result of this is cell membrane semi-rigidity. The normally permeable walls of the cells become rigid instead and as a result, can cause tensing or constricting of various muscles and tissues. In hypertension and angina, when blood vessels constrict, they inhibit proper blood flow to the heart. In asthma, it can cause the airways to stiffen as well as an excessive release of histamines which will cause inflammation and the over-production of mucus. This causes breathing difficulty.
Other ways that fear can affect one’s body after prolonged exposure is the over or under functioning of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and/or adrenal gland. Diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, and insomnia can be the result of this. They are triggered by an imbalance of the chemicals and hormones that these organs are designed to regulate.
With the long-term secretion of fear hormones and chemicals into the body, the immune system will also begin to wear down. If a person is constantly fighting viruses and infections, that is a good indication that their immune system is compromised. This also contributes to certain types of allergies, where the immune system mistakenly targets otherwise harmless substances.
It’s important to bridge the gap between our spirit, our soul, and our body. We need to understand that our thoughts, what we believe, directly affect our bodies through the resulting release of hormones and chemicals. We need to understand the root of the issue and look into our heart. What is going on in there?
The Word says this in Matthew:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
If you find yourself unable to be at peace or rest in your spirit, it is a good indication that fear is present. Fear needs to become our enemy because its main purpose is to keep us from being able to trust God and believe what He says in His Word 100%. Fear will advertise itself as a self-protection mechanism and lead us to believe that we need to be constantly aware or vigilant or in a self-defense mode to avoid disaster or protect ourselves from whatever evil it projects. It will always project negativity or the worst case scenario into our future and hold us to our past experiences to continually come to the same, incorrect conclusion about future situations.
Here’s what the Word says about fear:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Often times fear finds a door point when we have not been properly loved, covered or nurtured by someone that was supposed to love us and didn’t, or just didn’t know how. Usually, this is a parent but it could be a significant other or another important person in our lives. This is not an opportunity to blame anyone for the issues we struggle with because God knows that they have had their own set of issues that have kept them in bondage. However, it is important to recognize where the enemy got his foothold in your life so that the door can then be closed to him.
Another verse says this:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Love is in opposition to fear. Fear, by nature, is introspective and is usually centered around self-preservation or controlling one’s environment in order to find some sort of peace. But according to the Word, if we learn how to give and receive the love of the Father, the unconditional love found in 1 Corinthians 13, if we learn to walk in healthy relationships with God, ourselves and others, fear will have no place left in us to thrive. In fact, if we operate at this level of love, we have made ourselves a safe place and others will feel safe with us. Why? Because we have found our own safety, trust, rest and assurance in the truth of God and His love.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
We need to realize the power that was given to us as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He said this to His disciples:
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
We too are His disciples if we choose to believe that what He says in His Word is true and if we stop listening to lies. Fear will always tell you in advance what it wants to do to you but it’s your choice whether you believe it and agree with it or whether you reject it. If you choose to believe what it says, you have given it the power and authority in your life to direct your thoughts and your actions in that particular area as well as to trigger the physiological response of your body to that sort of thinking. But, if you reject that thought and choose that you’d rather believe what the Word says, you will find the fruits of love and joy and peace in your spirit and in your body. And a body at peace is a properly functioning body.
Psalm 91 is an excellent scripture to stand on in faith:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. Psalm 91:1-6
Overcoming fear is a learning curve, not necessarily a onetime event. Here at Be in Health® we call it walk out. We have been trained our whole lives to think, speak and act a certain way. This actually cements certain pathways of thought into our brains and so the process of reprogramming and retraining ourselves to think differently and believe differently may take time. We need to find peace and patience with ourselves even in our un-renewed state as we press into the Father and ask Him to come alongside us and help us recover ourselves out of the snare of the enemy. God’s patience towards His kids is infinite, there is no end or cut off to it. We can’t try to put some sort of agenda or time limit on our recovery, but rather, we must place our trust completely in Him for all of our needs.
The Be in Health® Team