Let’s Talk

Overwhelmed by Fear and Worry?

 

Q. Would you please talk about being overwhelmed by fear and worry? 

A. Let’s Talk! Fear and worry are rampant in our culture. Drugstore shelves are lined with meds to dull the side effects of those issues, but we find we need much more help than that.

The help we really need is inside us and above us—in our heads and hearts—that connects us to the Someone where we can choose to rest and be okay no matter what.

There are legitimate things to fear in our world like the Ebola virus, groups hostile to America, tornadoes . . . and the list goes on. Let’s call those normal, healthy, reasonable fears. Then there are the irrational “what-if” fears that consume us and stop us in our tracks as a mountain in our path. Both kinds of fears overwhelm us, and we weren’t meant to live in fear.

It is said that fear [either kind] is a signal that we are focused on our present circumstances down below instead of on our help from above! Similarly, a definition of worry I heard years ago is that it is a signal that I have assumed responsibility for something that is not mine. In other words, we can seek God’s help, His perspective, and His freedom. When we do, we can go around that fear mountain unstuck and not overwhelmed.

Just this week I realized that I was going around a mountain that had been in my life for a few years. I’ve even been singing the folk song, “She’ll be comin’ ‘round the mountain when she comes . . .” and below are the Bible verses that helped me. (I’ve got to go untie my six white horses.)

For Deeper Reflection

Mark 11: 23-24 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
Matthew 17: 20 “And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.’”
Matthew 21: 21 “And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.

Let’s Talk

Overwhelmed by Tasks?

Q. How can I be less overwhelmed when there are so many difficult tasks ahead?

A. Let’s Talk! Feeling overwhelmed is super common in our rapid-fire culture, and that feeling is often accompanied by lethargy. We come to a pause when too much is before us.

We have all seen that pattern, but how do we begin to move? What is able to unlock the inertia?

Have you heard the expression, “do the next right thing?” That’s a part of the answer. Instead of looking at the whole picture of tasks to be done, how about thinking of just one thing to do or move to? Somehow that one thing accomplished turns into two and three things accomplished. You tricked yourself!

Dividing things up into bite-sized pieces is another mind trick. A friend’s secret to an uncluttered desk is to put tasks in three categories or piles: definitely throw away, definitely keep, and TBD (to be determined). We can use the same principle for reducing the clutter in our heads.

Here’s one more path and it’s the best one of all. God LONGS for us to come to Him with our overwhelmed-ness if we will but ask Him. Just ask and He’ll help you move forward on your tasks ahead.

For Deeper Reflection

Isaiah 43:2–3a“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow [overwhelm] you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. for I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior . . . .”

Matthew 11: 28–30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.