Anxiety triggers are not something I enjoy talking about. You know the phrase, “out of sight out of mind?” Well, for me, anxiety is like that. As long as I don’t think about it, I’m usually OK. However, if I start talking about anxiety, I inevitably begin to experience its symptoms.
So why am I writing about it?
It wasn’t too long ago that I was on a desperate quest for answers. As a Christian, I wanted to know what God thought about anxiety. I wanted to read about other Christians who were able to live normal lives despite their weakened mental and physical state. I needed hope.
My prayer is that God will allow me to be a beacon of light to someone else searching for answers. There is hope for the Believer suffering from anxiety!
Through my own experience and personal study over the last several years, I have found that all anxiety triggers can be narrowed down to 8 categories. I have also discovered that each trigger has a “cure”. Each of these triggers I have personally struggled with.
Anything that comes between you and God is sin and can become a source of anxiety, or as professionals call it, an “anxiety trigger”. If you truly want to heal from your anxiety, you need to ask God to search your heart and to reveal your sin to you.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
– Psalms 139:23-24
The first of five anxiety triggers we will be studying is discontentment. The Webster dictionary defines discontentment as “not pleased or satisfied”.
When your best friend buys a new house that’s bigger than yours, do you wish you could have a bigger house? When you go out to eat with your skinny friend, do you look longingly at her juicy burger while you pick at your measly salad? Do you compare your looks to other people? Do you compare your husband to other husbands? Your kids to other kids? Your job to other jobs?
“…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” – 2 Corinthians 10:12b
Discontentment brings temptations, entrapments into sin, destruction, foolish & hurtful lusts, and evil. Other side effects of a discontent spirit are bitterness, anger, and broken relationships. All result in stress and anxiety.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-9
“The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” – Proverbs 19:23
Now that we know what causes discontentment, and what the effects of discontentment are, let’s talk about how to cure discontentment. Don’t be fooled by the word “cure”. Paul told us in 1 Corinthians that he must “die daily” to sin. Discontentment will always be a virus that infects our Christian lives from time to time. We must seek the Holy Scriptures for the cure to this virus of discontentment!
Fearing God – Fearing God can save us from destroying our lives with sin. Just as a child fears discipline for disobedience, we ought to fear being disciplined by our Heavenly Father. Not only does fearing God keep us from evil, we are told it can help us live a life of satisfaction! (Proverbs 19:23)
Don’t Worry about Tomorrow – Corrie Ten Boom said: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” If tomorrow causes you stress and anxiety, get on your knees! Lay it all at the feet of Jesus, and leave it there! (Matthew 6:34 & 1 Peter 5:7)
Stop Complaining – Don’t forget, I’m preaching to myself! I knew I had a problem with complaining when I overheard my 8-year-old son complain to his brother about “this stupid house!” When we allow discontentment to pour from our mouths, we are not only causing ourselves stress and anxiety, we are passing it on to those around us! (Hebrews 13:5)
Trust God – Have you ever made plans only to have them crumble into tiny-itty-bitty-pieces? When you don’t understand why your plans keep failing, it’s best to just trust God. The discontentment caused by failed plans and goals only lead to stress and anxiety. You don’t always have to understand what God’s plan is, you just need to trust that it is even better! (Proverbs 3:5&6)
Be Thankful – My Pastor’s wife is always stressing the importance of keeping a “thankful journal”. When you are reminded of every daily blessing, you don’t have a lot of time to be discontent. Everything that we enjoy in life is a gift from God! (Ecclesiastes 3:13 & Colossians 3:15)
Seek God – When I was younger, I struggled with being discontent over my “still-single” status. I bore my heart to my older sister who gave me some great advice. She encouraged me to seek God in every other area of my life and to wait and see what God could do. I took her advice, and several months later, I met a really handsome guy named Gabe – and the rest was history! When we seek to put God first in our life, everything else will fall into place! (Matthew 6:33)
God wants us to be content no matter where we are in our life. Whether you are a large family crammed into a tiny house or driving around a clunker-car, you CAN find contentment! Seek God in every area of your life, trust and fear Him, be thankful for the blessings He has given you today, don’t worry about tomorrow, and stop complaining! Contentment brings us peace that passes ALL understanding!
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:7
Want to read my story about anxiety? My Story with Anxiety
Want to follow me on Instagram? Find me @claiming_the_promise
Want to follow me on Facebook? https://www.facebook.com/carriecnehmer/
*disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information in this article has been gathered from my own experience and personal research. Please see your doctor or therapist before making any changes to your prescription regimen.