“I was young and now I am old; yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread” Psalm 37:25 NIV.
Turning anxiety and unnecessary stress off in our brains is a vital spiritual discipline as we look for better ways to live. No one else can do it for us.
The everyday demands of living stress our physical, spiritual, and emotional systems, much like cars and trucks stress the capacity of a bridge. As humans, we have different levels of capacity. Some people laugh off stress that would kill another person. A brain surgeon has the capacity to put a higher stress load on herself than a Uber driver, maybe. But the perceived threats of scarcity and lack, emotional stress, have the same detrimental effects in both people.
Emotional stress, the stepchild of anxiety, is the internalized fear that we’re not enough or don’t have enough capacity to face future demands. It’s like our brains constantly shoot massive amounts of stress hormones into our systems before there’s any real danger. We don’t realize that there’s an open loop playing in our subconscious minds that keeps us wired up, overly caffeinated, and inwardly agitated.
Is there a way to turn it off?
Reducing unwanted stress is mostly a function of the body over mind. We don’t usually think our way out of stress. Stress causes unusable energy that has to go somewhere. If we don’t expend it primarily through physical activity, it gets trapped in our bodies and can cause serious trouble. Meditation and prayer help, but physical exercise like dancing, walking, jogging, swimming, or biking are much more dependable ways to get a handle on our out of control anxiety and stress.