Thought for the week

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths - C E Mor­ri­son

ANX­I­ETY is not a new hu­man con­di­tion. Sig­mund Freud wrote a book en­ti­tled The Prob­lem of Anx­i­ety at the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury.

Baruch Spinoza, the 17th-cen­tury Dutch philoso­pher wrote about what he de­scribed as ‘dread’ in the hu­man con­di­tion. Vic­to­rian nov­el­ists wrote ex­ten­sively about char­ac­ters, par­tic­u­larly women, who ex­hib­ited many of the symp­toms of anx­i­ety dis­or­ders, from faint­ing to hys­te­ria.

The nov­el­ist Franz Kafka wrote mov­ingly about his own ex­pe­ri­ence of anx­i­ety, de­scrib­ing it as a kind of paral­y­sis, liken­ing it to ‘the feel­ing of hav­ing in the mid­dle of my body a ball of wool that quickly winds it­self up, its in­nu­mer­able threads pulling from the sur­face of my body to it­self’.

Has the 21st-cen­tury ob­ses­sion with so­cial me­dia in­creased lev­els of anx­i­ety? The char­ity, Anx­i­ety UK (www. anx­i­etyuk. org. uk), which works to re­lieve and sup­port those liv­ing with anx­i­ety dis­or­ders, re­ports that there has been a steady in­crease in calls to its helpline in re­cent years.

In­ter­viewed for the Ob­server news­pa­per in 2013, Nicky Lid­bet­ter, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Anx­i­ety UK, said: ‘ What we are find­ing is that peo­ple who might or­di­nar­ily have man­aged their anx­i­ety quite well have been tipped into new ter­ri­tory by be­ing made re­dun­dant or hav­ing to adapt to new life cir­cum­stances.’

Ama­zon, the on­line book seller, re­cently re­leased a list of the most widely read pas­sages from its most pop­u­lar books. The list in­cludes books such as The Hunger Games, The Harry Pot­ter se­ries, Pride and Prej­u­dice and The Bi­ble.

From the Bi­ble, Ama­zon found that the most com­monly high­lighted por­tion is Philip­pi­ans 4:6-7, where the Apos­tle Paul in­structs the fledg­ling church at Philippi: ‘ Do not be anx­ious about any­thing, but in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion, by prayer and pe­ti­tion, with thanks­giv­ing, present your re­quests to God. And the peace of God, which tran­scends all un­der­stand­ing, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Je­sus.’

Com­ment­ing on the Apos­tle Paul’s ad­mo­ni­tion to these early Chris­tians, Pro­fes­sor Eric L John­son, in­ter­viewed re­cently by the Chris­tian Post, said: ‘I see the verse as an en­cour­age­ment that God has pro­vided a way of find­ing free­dom from anx­i­ety but that’s go­ing to take some prac­tice: learn­ing how to spend some time with God, learn­ing how to sur­ren­der our wor­ries and our fears to Him, learn­ing how to let go of some of our pres­sures, maybe re­de­vel­op­ing cer­tain life­style pat­terns and learn­ing how to pray.’

As I have grown older, I have learned to take the Apos­tle Peter’s ad­vice to ‘cast all your anx­i­ety on him (Je­sus) be­cause he cares for you’ No wor­ries … hon­est!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.