Note: we were not able to get audio of the Introductory Teaching by Justin Smith on the Physiology of Anxiety and Practical Considerations. Here are a few notes from that session:
- The Scriptures don’t talk about alleviating the problems that caused our anxiety (to the extent that our anxiety is circumstantial).
- Philippians 4 (and other passages) discuss the mental aspects of anxiety and the encouragement to move our thinking toward God, His purposes, and His goodness.
- However, other kinds of anxiety are much more complicated. Dr. Smith discussed the issues involved when our fight/flight response is triggered. This response happens in a part of the brain not regulated by our mental processes. This is why we can often feel out of control. This kind of anxiety cannot be navigated through mental processes but must be engaged through the calming of the body.
- The Psalms present example after example of this kind of seemingly debilitating anxiety. The encouragement that is repeated over and over in the Psalms is to wait, to be still, and to be quiet. Dr. Smith then led the group in a prayerful exercise of calming our bodies.
John DelHousaye, “Anxiety and Prayer”
Handout for John DelHousaye’s talk: Two Parts of the Our Father
Ted Wueste, “Centering Prayer”
Handout for Centering Prayer: center_prayer_method_2017-01_0
Finally, we discussed the importance of crafting a “rule of life” for our anxiety. Often, we navigate our lives (and certainly our anxieties) without a sense of intentionality. A Rule of Life is a plan for what we will do a daily/weekly/monthly basis to live a prayerful life. In addition, a Rule of Life gives God-invited guidelines for what we will do when feeling anxious. The following worksheet is a guide for prayerfully working through a plan.