Undoubtedly, current events are very disturbing for most people, since they generate concern for their own well-being and that of those closest to them. These concerns produce insecurity in aspects such as the economy, education–in the case of those who study–health, and work, among others. Therefore, it is easy to understand that regardless of race, gender, age, or other variables, almost everyone has felt fearful and therefore anxious about what may happen. All this makes us feel vulnerable, greatly increasing emotional disorders such as anxiety.
But what is anxiety? Anxiety is a complex and unpleasant emotional state including thoughts of danger, feelings of apprehension, and fear, with correlating physiological effects such as increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness, lack of focus and concentration, among other symptoms. Many of these symptoms are not associated with a specific cause, which makes the diagnosis of the situation more difficult. If anxiety persists for a long time, there is a risk of reaching what are known as anxiety disorders, which can excessively complicate the life of those who suffer from them, so consulting a specialist is essential.
When does anxiety arise in humanity?
In creation, Adam and Eve had a close relationship with their Creator, talking daily walks with him in the beautiful Garden of Eden in the company of friendly animals, and the presence of angels who taught them and spoke of the love of God. There was no fear, anxiety, stress, or anything to complicate the life of the happy couple until sin changed the situation.
“Then they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking through the garden in the cool of the day; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God among the trees of the garden. But Jehovah God called the man and asked, ‘Where are you?’ He replied: ‘I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; that’s why I hid’” (Genesis 3: 8-10).
How sad to know that due to Adam and Eve’s bad decisions, the scenario completely changed not only for them, but for all of us who have come after.
It is difficult to change the way we face current events, since it seems that anxiety, fear, and worry are the most immediate and natural responses of human beings to situations that seem dangerous or which make us fear the loss of what we love.
“We allow ourselves to be invaded by many borrowed concerns; we harbor many fears, and express such weight of anxiety that anyone could suppose that we do not have a compassionate and merciful Savior willing to hear all our requests and be our present, constant help in all time of need” (Way to Christ, 104).
But in the face of hopelessness, we have hope! There is a lot to do to defeat the anxiety that seems to come so naturally to us. For example:
- Change eating habits: Increase consumption of water, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts. All of this helps in the biochemical regulation that fights anxiety.
- Incorporate physical exercise at least three times a week. Even amidst the pandemic you can do aerobic exercises in small spaces of the house guided by YouTube videos.
- Focus on solutions, not problems. Exercise the change of negative thoughts for positive, which are at the base of almost every emotional problem.
In conclusion, we so often think we can do nothing about the anxiety so recurrent in modern life, but we also have evidence in our own lives of the blessings we have received from God. Let’s not forget that it is God who looked for Adam and Eve after they had sinned, and in the same way he constantly looks for us to get us out of any situation that seems threatening to us. It is Jesus himself who said, “These things I have spoken to you so that you may have peace in me. You will have trouble in the world, but be confident, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
About the author: Laure Orge Espínola has a degree in psychology from the University of Tarapacá. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in psychology with a minor in educational psychology at the Adventist University of Chile .