I'm starting to feel increasingly scared and worried about world events and the possibility of terrorist attacks in our country. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with these fears?
Many Americans report feeling anxious or stressed out by the potential for terrorist attacks here at home. These feelings are normal and you shouldn't beat yourself up for having them.
One of the best ways to deal with these negative emotions is to talk about them with someone you trust. We all need "safe" people in our lives – friends who we can be honest with and open about our doubts and fears without having to worry that they'll judge us or make us feel ashamed. If you know one or two people like that, give them a call, get together for coffee, and tell them how you've been feeling.
If you don't have any safe people in your life, you need to find some. Church is a great place to start. Many churches these days sponsor a wide variety of support groups where honesty and vulnerability are encouraged. It could be well worth your while to explore the possibility of becoming involved with a program of this kind.
Then there's prayer. It's crucial to remember that you can turn to God with your fears and uncertainties 24 hours a day. He's always there to listen to your concerns, and He has promised never to leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). You may also find that your faith and confidence will increase beyond all expectation as you begin to spend more time in the Scriptures. The Bible encourages us to "be anxious for nothing" (Philippians 4:6), to "be still and know that He (the Lord) is God" (Psalm 46:10), and to "cast all our cares upon Him" (I Peter 5:7). As you read, study, and internalize passages like these, you may be amazed at how reassuring and fortifying it can be to steep your heart and mind in the message of God's Word.
If you are experiencing actual physical symptoms of anxiety – for example, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or sweaty palms – you may want to talk to your physician. You can also call our Counseling department. Our caring Christian counselors would love to talk to you, and we can also provide you with a list of licensed therapists practicing in your local area. It would be our privilege to assist you in any way we can.