I am forty years old, but I have never felt fear like I do now…. I can’t explain it…. It builds up in my chest and makes me feel desperate, sad, and sometimes even want to cry. It’s something that really makes me uncomfortable, and I don’t understand it.

I have prayed to God, but I keep having this problem. When I feel uncomfortable is when I get home from work at about eight o’clock at night. All day long I do very well, except at that time. When I hear social disorder or neighbors partying, it even makes me angry. I don’t know if it’s because I like to be alone with my family and for nobody to bother us. I haven’t talked to anyone about this, but I would like for you to help me.

Dear Friend,

You are right to think that there must be a reason that causes you to have uncomfortable physical symptoms at the same time each day. If you were having the symptoms all day long, then it might be an illness. But since you only have the symptoms in the evening, it is likely that something is happening at home to cause this reaction.

You say that you like being alone with your family and for nobody else to bother you. At times you find your neighbors’ activities intolerable, and that makes you angry. It is likely that the walls of your home are very close to the homes of your neighbors and that you can’t get away from the noise. Seemingly incessant noise that you can’t control could certainly provoke anger. In your case, you are apparently controlling your anger by keeping it all inside yourself, but the fact that you have to do that every day is stressful and causes you to have physical symptoms.

Anger is an emotion that is generated in the brain because of our beliefs. You probably believe that you have the right to peace and quiet in your own home. So when you don’t get peace and quiet, you get angry.

The anger builds up over time. You may believe that expressing any anger is wrong, but the truth is that it would be helpful to talk about your anger with someone you trust. A professional counselor would be the best, but a friend could also help. That person won’t be able to eliminate the noise in your neighborhood, but they could help you deal with your anger in a positive way.

When you are traveling home in the evenings, engage in self-talk. Tell yourself that even though you believe your neighbors are inconsiderate and that their activities are detrimental to society, they have the right to choose their own activities. They have the right to make noise in their own homes. Remind yourself that there will be noise when you get home, and that there won’t be peace and quiet.

Jesus Christ understood that we would face trials of every kind. And He knew that we would have to deal with difficult people. He taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.(1) Consider the noise as a type of persecution and pray for your persecutors. And, of course, you can pray that God would act on your behalf and cause your neighbors to be more considerate.

We wish you the best,

1 Mt 5:44