Can anxiety be due to a lack of character?

Can anxiety be due to a lack of character

Want to be stronger? Then pray for it.

The cause of anxiety can sometimes be obvious, such as problems with family, health, or work. Anxiety can also be made worse by a lack of character. Let’s see how you can strengthen your character – or better yet, let God make you stronger.

What is character?

Your character is the collection of attributes that determine your actions and reactions. When someone lacks character they tend to look for the easy way out. We don’t want to face our challenges so we:

  • Make excuses
  • Complain
  • Blame others or our past
  • Hide from the truth (denial)
  • Compare ourselves to others

In our hearts though, we know what the problem is. Weakness of character can linger for years and cause great anxiety or depression.

Seek truth

In the areas of your life where you encounter anxiety, ask yourself: In what way is my lack of character making the problem worse?

This is not to place blame, but an attempt to see clearly where you can improve things. Only in the trials of life will we find the weak spots in our character. This is why James said that we should “consider it pure joy” when we face difficult situations (James 1:2).

Sometimes we know we handle things poorly, but we don’t know why. We might think it’s laziness when really it might be vanity. Or we might believe our weakness is anger when in reality we are envious. In the light of prayer and introspection, God helps us to see the truth which leads to healing and strength.

A strong character means peace

Weak moments take away your peace. In these cases, when you overreact – or don’t react at all – you don’t feel peace. Did you try to force your will upon others? Did you fail to be loyal to your convictions? At what point did you lose your peace? Answering these questions help you achieve peace which is at the heart of a strong character.

This does not mean that you have to be emotionless. Peace allows for the true and proper expression of feelings.

Put the tempter in his place

The enemy will come to tempt and accuse you during this process. He wants you to be blind and weak. He will tell you things like:

  • He/she is completely wrong; they are always making mistakes.
  • You are completely wrong; you always make mistakes.
  • Change is impossible, this is just how I am.

Satan tempts us to accept the death of hope. These are power situations where you feel a false sense of control by not having to act or react. Too many times we listen to the accuser and rest upon these lies. But none of it is true since there is always a chance for change.

These accusations can also come from people. Don’t listen to people that try to break you down. Don’t listen to the sweet talkers either that tell you that you don’t have any responsibility. Seek truth instead.

Finally, if you fall into the same temptation again and again, this is an opportunity. The measure of your character is how you respond to temptation. Every single time you say “no” you make a habit of strength.

Love is the way

Jesus said:

  • “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
  • “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

How did Jesus do this? He came down from heaven to live as a human being. He became one of us to show us how much he understands our suffering. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Do not condemn, but be merciful and forgiving and seek forgiveness. This is hard work and requires discernment and spiritual effort. The things that stop you from loving, stop you from having a strong character.

The strength of your character will increase with your capacity to love.

Find courage

You cannot build a strong character without facing tough times. Some people wish they could win the lottery, thinking only then can they live their dreams. But the easy way out delays – or destroys – the process necessary to develop a strong character. Integrity and character are elements that dispel anxiety, depression, and fear. Nobody can take away your integrity – except yourself.

Instead of winning the lottery, for example, it’s better to find joy in an honest day’s labor. Instead of a magic wand to take away your trouble, accept your situation and let God mold you through the struggle. Stop looking to place blame and know that Jesus took all the blame upon himself.

Begin to hope that you can be committed. Begin to believe that you can be strong.

Prayer Time

God may not send you trials, but he does offer to help you with them. When the going gets tough; get on your knees. Cry out to God to show you what he wants. In the places where we are strong, God doesn’t have much room to work. But in the places where we depend on him, his Spirit can produce miraculous results.

A strong character is built day by day, trial by trial, and prayer by prayer. It’s not an easy process, but the rewards are eternal.

The secret to thinking clearly

The secret to thinking clearly
Cluttered thinking leads to wasted time and anxiety. So how do you organize your thoughts?

Running around makes you worry

When you chase after the worries of the world, you dedicate attention to things of little value. How much time do you waste looking things that don’t enrich your life? Before the Internet and smartphones it was just television, but the same source is behind it all.

The Tempter

The modern world tries to tell us that Satan does not exist. Still, we see exaggerated forms of evil every day in the news. Some people may even suffer from demonic possession. Where does this come from? In some ways, clear thought depends on knowing that the devil exists, and he does all he can to distract us. In the Bible we see how he tempted humans from the very beginning. Even Jesus was tempted. Understanding that temptation is largely external helps us to resist confusion.

Thinking clearly

When you get confused, stop for a moment and say, “The enemy is at work here. He is trying to distract me. He’s tempting me to believe that there is no way to see things clearly.” This doesn’t mean a demon is lurking around trying to control you. But if something takes away your peace, what might be the source?

Some say it’s natural, but animals don’t suffer from this problem. Have you ever seen a pet dog anxious about if their owner is going to feed them tomorrow? Wild animals have to find or kill their meal everyday – do we see squirrels frozen with worry? Satan prefers to work unnoticed by us. He wants us to think he doesn’t exist. He convinces us that our problems are just a part of us.

Nobody’s life is perfect

Everybody has trials and tribulations, but worry only exaggerates them. Our brains go around and around causing us to waste energy. We lose our way and focus on worry instead of solutions. Even if there is no immediate solution, there is a way to have peace.

Do you believe?

Prayer is more than just asking for help. In many ways, prayer organizes your thoughts. When you stop to pray, things fall into perspective. First of all, you get a chance to think about what you have to do. You are reminded of important tasks. It might be something like “pay the heating bill,” or something much more important like “call your mom.”

Pray specifically to put order and clarity into your thoughts.

Besides putting day-to-day order in your life, you also receive a heavenly order. In prayer, you remember who Jesus is and what he did for you. You might understand this with your head, but in prayer it sinks deep into your heart. Your focus shifts away from temptations, and you are nourished by eternal truths such as mercy, forgiveness, and love. It becomes easier to see what really matters. The clutter falls away, and you see with a clear eye.

Time spent in prayer even reveals “hidden” secrets. You see things for how they really are without complications. A situation unfolds before you in the light of God’s truth, and suddenly you’re not confused anymore.

Practice makes perfect

This kind of thinking doesn’t happen overnight or with just one prayer. You have to work on it. But as Paul explained, this practice gives us a peace that “transcends all understanding.” You rise above the worries and distractions of the world. In Christ’s resurrection you know the tempter has no power over you. You rise again with your triumphant Savior. You are free to think clearly.

Meditate on Paul’s words: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6).

Full list of Prayers                        Ask for prayer

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How To Stop Negative Thoughts

How To Stop Negative Thoughts Prayer For Anxiety Explains

Let God blow your fears away

In some ways negative thinking is protective. It prevents us from leaping into danger. The problem occurs when negativity dominates our lives and affects interpersonal relationships. So how do we stop negative thoughts?

Are the walls really crumbling down?

When things aren’t the way we like  we are tempted to paint a gloomy picture. So we think, “Well, if I assume the worst, I can’t get hurt.” If disaster strikes we want to be ready, so we adopt this anesthesia against bad news. The problem is this can lead to a constant state of hurt affecting those around you also. Let the truth free you instead.

Stop labeling

The first step in how to stop negative thoughts is to stop labeling. Labels get you stuck. So do your best to avoid saying things like:

  • I always make mistakes.
  • My life stinks.
  • I’m a horrible person.
  • There is no hope for my family.
  • He/she is always a problem.
  • I’m always unlucky.

None of these labels are true. Don’t be fooled into believing them.

See our complete list of over 180 helpful prayers.

Stop projecting

Nobody can predict the future, so stop trying. If you keep telling yourself that you are going to fail, then you might just ruin any chances of success. Or if you keep imagining someone is going to end up in a mess, then you might not be able to see clearly in order to help. Try not to project doomsday upon the world.

Also, you can’t read other people’s minds, so avoid imagining negative thoughts into their heads. A person might not have returned your phone call or text for many reasons other than they hate you. Maybe they have a life to live first, right?

It’s not all about you

Remember, you can’t control the universe no matter how much you worry. This includes the bad things that happen. So much is out of your control. Accept this reality and free yourself from taking all the blame on yourself.

What are you really afraid of?

It’s time to dig a little deeper. What are your true fears? Coming to grips with these will help you even more than the coping mechanisms mentioned above. Perhaps you have had a traumatic experience in the past. Have you looked for a way to reconcile this?

Maybe you are afraid of failure, scared to try, or afraid of risk. Are you scared to live and trust in God? Maybe you feel that you deserve to control the world. Put away these self-centered ideas and begin to focus on something much greater: HOPE.

So what if you make a mistake? All people – great and small – have made great mistakes. But never give up hope. Life is an experience, not perfection. It’s often messy and sometimes even bloody. When a baby is born there’s pain, suffering, and blood. But then new life appears. And before all this goes great hope.

Prayer time

When you pray, let your negative thoughts blow away and unwind in God’s presence. Even if it takes a while, let his Spirit cleanse you of negativity. Then, when you’re ready, ask God for help. Ask him to put order into your thought process. The perfect order that he wants for you consists of faith, hope, and love.

When you stop to pray, you break out of the vicious cycle of negative thinking. Sometimes you have to force yourself at first. Begin with this simple prayer: “Jesus, I trust in you.” Repeat this over and over until you calm down enough to start seeing things more realistically.

Ask to be freed of negativity. Ask with confidence, and ask in Jesus’ name.

Even in moments of true darkness you can run to him. Focus on God’s great compassion and mercy. He will help you accept things as they are without worry. He might not change your situation, but he is guaranteed to change your heart.

Jesus showed us the way. His prayer to his Father? Thy Will Be Done. Let God take control.

For help in difficult times…

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How Do I Deal With Toxic People?

Prayer for Anxiety Asks How Do I Deal With Toxic People

Discover how much prayer can help.

We all have these kinds of people in our lives at one time or another. It’s someone that makes life unbearable. Sadly, this person is often a family member or a close friend. Let’s see how to deal with these difficult relationships from psychological and faith based perspectives.

What Defines A Toxic Person Or Relationship?

Maybe the best way to describe a toxic person is someone you don’t want to be around at all, and you hate them (and maybe yourself) for it. This is not a formal psychological diagnosis as different personality disorders can lead to toxic behavior. Here are some signs that a person’s behavior is toxic:

  • Extreme selfishness
  • Always the victim
  • Aggressive or threatening behavior
  • Overreacts easily
  • Suffocating perfectionism
  • Overly dramatic
  • Controlling behavior
  • Jealously or envy
  • Hyper-critical
  • Extreme pessismism
  • Obsession with being sick
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Your Reaction Helps Identify Problems

How you respond to the person is a key part of identification and healing. Some signs that you are in a toxic relationship are:

  • Dread or fear of the person
  • You feel emotionally drained
  • You feel frustrated by your own reactions as much as the toxic person’s behavior
  • Every time you think things are better, they fall apart again
  • You end up compromising your values trying to cope
  • Endless arguments of repeating the same thing over-and-over
  • You feel that there is a battle for control between the two of you

How To Handle Toxic Relationships: Psychological Perspective

First of all, if you are in any sort of danger, ask for help right away. The National Domestic Violence Hotline website can be found here.

The main reason people act irrationally is usually due to an unhealed emotional wound. Maybe they were abused or neglected or perhaps they were raised by a toxic person. These wounds make us all react in ways we don’t want to.

People who care for parents that have Alzheimer’s disease often get frustrated. But when they understand that it’s a disease process, they can be more objective. This type of objectivity can help you navigate toxic relationships.

Meditate on this thought: His/Her irrational behavior is based on a past wound or weakness.

Try not to argue, and avoid interrupting the other person. Let them talk it out, even if what they are saying makes no sense at all. Remember, silence does not mean that you agree. Toxicity thrives on argument; so don’t feed it.

Stop making things “easy” for the other person or yourself. Compromising your convictions and values only makes things harder down the road. Set healthy boundaries and have the courage to walk away until the smoke clears. In some cases, this might mean walking away from a relationship altogether. It might also be wise to seek professional counselling.

How To Handle Toxic Relationships: Faith Based Perspective

Romans 8:28 says everything that happens to us is for our own good if we love God. This can be a hard pill to swallow when exposed to toxic people. However, think about this — if a person is toxic, it means they are sick. In Mark 2:17, Jesus said he did not come to heal the healthy, but those who are ill with sin.

Toxic behavior is often under some kind of evil influence. It could be the result of past sin, abuse, or even a demonic presence. The best way to combat this is through prayer. Pray incessantly for the other person. Separate in your mind the behavior from the person.  Let God soften your heart while he strengthens your character, even as you are being harmed. This is true Christ-likeness.

It requires a lot of hard praying to deal with these people.  But when they look for conflict, they will encounter God’s love in your heart.

Our trials produce patience. Many times the presence of a toxic person in your life is the best way for you to develop the fruit of the Spirit such as peace, kindness, and self-control. The world will tell you to retain your dignity at all costs; Jesus will tell you to love your enemy. Ask God to mold your heart through your trails.

Project Of A Lifetime

These people are the most needy in our lives. It may take years before they are ready to change. But never give up hope. This doesn’t mean you have to remain physically close to the person, but you can keep knocking on God’s door asking him to change things. Maybe you can’t leave the situation. Here, you become completely dependent on God’s mercy and love. Let his Spirit do the fighting for you.

You might think, “Why do I have to waste my life for this person who doesn’t appreciate what I do or feel for them? It’s so unfair!” Only God’s justice and mercy are perfect. And who are the just? Asking for mercy, he is the tax collector who does not even feel worthy to lift up his eyes up to heaven (Luke 18:9-14); she is the sinful woman washing the feet of Jesus with her tears (Luke 7:36-50).

The answers are never simple. Consider all things in the light of prayer. Talk with your pastor, priest, or spiritual guide. Remember, when we rejoice in our trials and sufferings, God’s grace is certain to shine through.

Let us pray for you.

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Resources: Article at PsychCentral.