I’m not a doctor so keep in mind, this post shouldn’t be used to diagnose or treat your issues. But you’re a smart cookie, so I think you already knew this, right?
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Ithink pretty much every Christian knows this verse. (You can read a personal story of mine about this verse here.) And yet, anxiety still lurks in our minds as Christians.
Why is this? Are our hearts willfully against God and His commands? Maybe sometimes. And then other times, it may be another issue that’s physical or emotional in nature that we haven’t properly identified.
You see, we’re complex beings with both a physical and metaphysical nature– a web of the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. And with this tangled web, we can become pretty confused as to the root source of our problem.
Physical Reasons for Anxiety:
Keep in mind, I’m only scratching the surface since physical reasons for anxiety can get extensive.
-High levels of certain neurotransmitters can cause anxiety. I’ve had my neurotransmitters tested several times, and each time, I’ve had high levels of glutamate and epinephrine (adrenaline). Both are attributed to anxiety.
-Certain foods and beverages can cause anxiety as well as food allergies/intolerances. Due to my high levels of glutamate, I try to stay away from foods containing high levels of glutamate like cashews and beans which can increase pain and anxiety for me. High amounts of caffeine and refined sugar are an anxiety trigger for many.
I didn’t know before the year of 2010 just how much diet affected my health and mood. After I went sugar-free, I was able to be panic attack free for years before other physical complications caused them to spring up again.
If you’re trying to find out which foods trigger your anxiety, I would suggest looking into an elimination diet. You may be pleasantly surprised just how much your mood shifts after you embrace whole foods and eliminate foods that are a personal irritant to you.
-Certain health conditions can cause anxiety like Lyme Disease, POTS, and Hypoglycemia.
-Environmental irritants can cause anxiety such as toxic mold and chemicals thought to be harmless that are lurking in our cleaning supplies and personal care products.
-Certain genetic factors can cause anxiety such as MTHFR.
-Hormonal imbalances (estrogen, progesterone, etc.) and also an imbalance in hormones from the adrenals and thyroid.
-Chronic pain alone can produce anxiety and changes in your mood.
Emotional Reasons for Anxiety:
I think this is what we all typically think of when we hear “anxiety.” This would cover situational stressors like a recent move, marital problems, and well, you can fill in the blank with whatever stress you have at the present moment. We all have stress so we all can fill in that blank space with the worries that haunt us at night.
But we all also have different dispositions. Some of us are more relaxed by nature while some of us are a little more high-strung. Both have their pros and cons so there really isn’t a “better” type. We just need to remember that while we’re talking about anxiety, those that tend to be perfectionistic and highly responsible types tend to have more anxiety.
Spiritual Reasons for Anxiety:
This is where the church typically lumps those who have anxiety problems. If you have anxiety, you simply have a spiritual problem.
The issue is, this is an oversimplification of our vastly complex bodies God created. Not to mention that what once began as a physical issue from anxiety can also morph into an emotional and spiritual issue. And what began as an emotional or spiritual issue can cause a physical issue. I know, pretty confusing, right?
But back to the spiritual reasons, anxiety issues in the spiritual realm many times revolve around trust. Do we trust God? Are we placing too much confidence in the here and now instead of living with an eternal perspective? Or are we living our lives contrary to the will of God?
Whatever your root issue may be, invite God in and pray for His wisdom on unearthing the reason for your anxiety.
Grace to you,
If this article helped you in any way, would you mind taking the time to share it?