In Good Faith

Lately I’ve been feeling anxious about domestic terrorism related to the upcoming election. Do you have any suggestions for managing my anxiety?

Eric Sandras - Christian

Eric Sandras, Ph.D.— Author of four books, “Dr. E” leads The Sanctuary Church in the heart of Old Colorado City and teaches graduate courses in human sexuality, counseling and psychology.

Fear is faith. It is just faith in the worst possible outcome. It can take as much faith to believe in the best possible outcome as it does the worst. I don’t mean to be dismissive of anyone’s anxiety, but to put it in correct perspective. It is a real feeling that has genuine causes. The cause is usually a level or two below what we assume, so work it out with a trusted friend or counselor. Other helpful thoughts: Instead of trying not to feel anxious, lean towards those things that produce stability or peace in your life. Anxiety tends to overestimate the danger of a situation and underestimate one’s ability to handle it, so feed one and starve the other. You got this!

David Gardiner - Buddhist

David Gardiner is an associate professor in the Colorado College Religion department, specializing in Buddhism and religions of China and Japan, and is co-founder and director of BodhiMind Center.

There are so many conditions that can trigger anxiety, and the current U.S. political situation is a big one for many. I have two suggestions. One is to trust that most Americans support non-violent means for resolving domestic strife, and to trust in the integrity our governing institutions to manage an uneasy transition. Things might get messy but not out of hand. Second is to reflect on the usefulness of our anxious states of mind. Are they necessary? Do they improve the situation? Anxiety and fear can be helpful in stimulating a skillful response to a challenging circumstance. But when we identify with them, when we get stuck in these mental states as constants, the emotions are then contributing to unease rather than resolving it.

Alycia Erickson- Christian

Rev. Alycia Erickson, pastor of Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church, has a passion for working with the LGBTQ and straight communities.

If your anxiety is having a significant and ongoing negative effect on your life, I strongly recommend seeking professional help. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.” (Matthew 6:34). Whenever I read that passage, I want say to Jesus, “Easier said than done!” And yet we all can feel how anxiety saps life and energy from us. I find relief in two simple daily practices. I have found that taking long, slow breaths — in, and then out — help me connect to the present moment, rather than spinning out in my head about future fears. And in my prayer time, I regularly surrender my fears and anxieties to God and ask for help with them.

Arnie Bass - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Arnie Bass is a bishop at Sunset Mesa Ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Colorado Springs. He has served in positions of both spiritual and administrative responsibility since 1991.

First of all, I have no training in anxiety management. Google and Safari know more than I. Professional counselors know better than they. Therefore, I do not offer any recommendations to that end. What improves my life and my sense of happiness and well-being when feelings of fear, uncertainty or doubt (the old FUD crud) creeps in, is for me to redirect my focus. Reducing the amount of news and internet I consume is a big stress eliminator. Spending more time and energy with family and friends, doing some service for someone, doing something creative with my hands also helps. Improving my relationship with God and the heavens, by reading the scriptures more, praying more often and fervently seems to make everything a lot better.

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