When dealing with anxiety a common mistake is to leave your heart unprotected. Some people suffering from anxiety need to talk, and communication is helpful. However, every time you share your troubles you open your heart to what the other person has to offer – good or bad. Learn how to protect your heart when coping with anxiety.
Whenever we communicate with someone we give and get spiritual feedback. It is not always obvious, but the spiritual health of the other person affects us. This is not as mysterious as it sounds. We all know that a very nervous person can make us feel edgy, while a patient person puts us at ease.
It is important to ask for God’s protection every day. Ask him to cover you with his Spirit to protect you no matter who, or what, you encounter.
Stop shopping around
Sometimes we look for advice from too many sources. There can be several motives for this. One can be that we are hoping to find a “magical” cure or advice for our troubles. The other is that, deep down, we are looking for a specific response and ask around until we get it. This is a way of confirming something we already have decided, which might not be the best course of action. The worst thing is that sometimes we end up giving the same bad advice to others in order to justify our misguided decisions.
The less people you share your problems with the better. This does not mean that you should hide everything and keep it inside. Instead choose wisely who you confide in.
You don’t have to be ashamed if you suffer from anxiety or depression. But be careful with those that are overly curious about your emotional life. Sometimes a short, clear statement like, “I struggle sometimes with anxiety,” is all you need to say. If they pressure you to talk simply say, “Thank you, but don’t worry, I have someone I can talk to.”
If you are thinking about confiding in someone, ask yourself these questions first:
- Does the person have a healthy relationship with God?
- Is their life testimony (family, work, etc.) wholesome and transparent?
- Are they a person of prayer?
- Are they more prone to listen rather than give quick advice?
- Do they reflect humility and mercy rather than overconfidence?
- Does this person speak truth instead of just telling me what I want to hear?
Women should seek counsel from women, and men from men. Married couples can together accompany a woman or a man. An exception to this rule might be advice from a pastor or priest, but make sure all meetings occur in a public place. Protect yourself, and the other person, from any temptations or misunderstanding.
All of these considerations should be processed in prayer. Ask God directly, “Do you think it is okay for me to confide in this person?”
Protect your heart
It is important to find people that you trust. Don’t open your heart up to just anyone. Their intentions might not be bad, but some can cause you emotional and spiritual harm. Remember to ask God for his advice directly as well. Let him guide you through the process of getting free from anxiety. By trusting in Jesus you can find true rest.
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23
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