Forgiveness and Anxiety, Panic and Depression
Anxiety, panic and depression can be very debilitating. They drain our energy and make it more difficult to get on with life and do the things we need to. When severe, anxiety and depression can seriously cripple a person’s ability to lead a meaningful life...
Yet, it does not have to be this way. Forgiveness can help us be free of anxiety and depression and reduce the tendency to panic. At the very least Forgiveness can make it much easier for us to manage these issues.
How Forgiveness Helps
When we look at the causes of anxiety and depression our thinking processes are often part of the problem. Anxiety becomes habitual when we spend too much time having worrying and frightening thoughts. Our body then gets into very alert and vigilant state. This means our our body is being flooded with the types of hormones, which makes it even more likely that we will think anxious thoughts. By putting our nervous system on “alert” we tell our nervous system to look for those things which might go wrong (or are going wrong) and to not look for things that are going right. Our perspective becomes one-sided, and distorted towards the negative, without us even realising it.
Likewise thoughts of doom and gloom, such as feeling stuck in a situation with no way out or no hope for a better future can also become habitual. Such thoughts cause our body to be flooded with the types of hormones which make us feel sluggish, lacking in energy or enthusiasm and even more likely to have despairing and unhappy thoughts.
By giving us a way to change or interrupt our habitual thought patterns Forgiveness allows us to make radical positive changes. It helps us to cope with the things which we find worrying or fearful and it also helps us find hope and new possibilities in situations where we feel stuck. Yet Forgiveness can take us further than this – much further.
Forgiveness can produce deep and powerful changes in our attitudes, beliefs and in our thinking habits. It can set us free from the past so that we can not only face the future, we can go forward to create a better future. Forgiveness helps us break through the thought patterns which create fear, anxiety, depression and panic.
Practising Forgiveness helps flood our system with positive, life enhancing feelings. These positive feelings and the associated hormones make it easier to see and enjoy the good things in life. This in turn makes it easier to become even more forgiving. Forgiveness also makes it easier to feel like reaching out to other people – and reaching out to others is known to be one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, and to help people move out of isolation and depression.
Handling Life Without Anxiety, Depression and Panic
What often feeds a sense of anxiety is a feeling of being overwhelmed and not able to handle life. What this boils down to is really a feeling of not being able to handle other people. It is usually the things which other people “might” do or say which make us anxious.
Likewise depression often comes from how we respond to other people’s behaviour. Perhaps someone has been rude to us, or said something unkind, or someone we depend on does not seem to like us or approve of us. If we do not know how to manage our feelings about such events then these can build up till we feel hopeless and depression sets in.
Therefore, both anxiety and depression are often triggered by how well we cope with the demands, expectations and hopes of other people. However, there is more to it than that. The key to it is not so much what those people say to us when we don’t do what they want or expect; they key to it is really what we say to ourselves about it.
Forgiveness Protects Us from Other People’s Behaviour
What we need is something which can sit between us and other people, or situations, which cause us to feel anxious or depressed. This is what Forgiveness does. Forgiveness helps to protect us from the affect of other people’s behaviour.
We might feel anxious because we do not know how to handle someone behaviour towards us. We might feel worried that they will say something harsh or rude to us. However, as we learn Forgiveness we see that we have a way to handle them. We can forgive them and – just as important – we can forgive ourselves. Through Forgiveness we have a way of handling or coping with any situation.
We might feel depressed because we do not see a way out of a very difficult situation. As we learn to forgive we find that we do have a way out. By looking to how we can forgive the people around us and forgive ourselves for getting into that situation, our whole perspective begin to change. New possibilities, which we were blind to before, become really obvious and accessible as we learn to forgive.
Forgiveness Helps us Be Free of Fear
By learning how to forgive, we begin to discover that we have an inner freedom which we perhaps didn’t even know was there. It is that inner freedom which enables us to find happiness even in difficult situations. It is like we rise above circumstances and find an inner strength and new abilities to handle situations and to handle other people and their behaviour.
Through Forgiveness we start to lose a lot of our fear of other people and our fear of life. We begin to become kinder to ourselves and kinder to those around us. Does this cause them to behave differently towards us? Very often it does, but we have the inner strength and inner freedom that we do not need to rely on that. Our inner freedom liberates us from being a victim of circumstances and enables us to shape the ways in which we are affected by the people and events in our life.
Forgiveness: The Quick and Easy Way to Learn
You can learn how to forgive now – for free. Just download your free copy of Four Steps to Forgiveness using the links below. (You don’t even need to put in an email address to get it – it really is free.) All we ask is that if you find it useful please let other people know about it.
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Four Steps to Forgiveness
A powerful way to freedom, happiness and success.
William Fergus Martin