Stress and Anxiety – I hear about it all the time and I feel it’s effects regularly. I have admitted that I am often stressed and worried. I have also admitted that I can be drawn into a stress-induced funk that can lead me to a state of depression. I have also learned that there are a few keys that have helped me work through the effects of anxiety in my life. I hope that they might be an encouragement to you as well.
- Recognize that truly are not alone. Find a safe place and a safe person to help you see past your immediate crisis, allowing you to see a bigger picture than the stress you are carrying today. Start with trusted friends, your pastor, or a trusted counselor.
- Sing! Yep, that’s right. SING YOUR GUTS OUT! When I’m on the edge of losing my battle with anxiety, I find some music that I can just sing out loud. That is one of two genres – classic rock and roll, or serious praise music like Crowder or Elevation Worship.
- Pray out loud! Go ahead and talk to the Divine. He wants to build you up and encourage you. Get out of your orthodoxy that keeps you from speaking openly with God and chat with Him about anything and everything. Here’s the KEY: Hush and listen for His promptings and voice in a few moments of quietude. I’ll guarantee you that you’ll be encouraged.
- Take inventory of your life and write down 4-5 things that you can be grateful for. This has been the biggest AHA in my battle with stress over the past few years.
- Don’t put your head down and try to press on through this. STOP for a few minutes in an attempt to put the above points into action.
This was most likely a writing that I needed today. Most of you probably never have this tension in your life, but I know a handful of you do. Every person and every diagnosis is unique, but don’t try to charge on like Rambo. Stop and deal with the realities that come with it.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
One last piece of advice, especially for you guys that are Followers of Jesus, like me. Don’t be afraid of medication. You aren’t some “less than ideal Christian,” simply because you get stress and anxiety riddled. Stop investing your life’s greatest asset – TIME – with folks that load you down with “spiritual guilt.”
Okay. I am now officially better after writing that rant. Hope it helps!