When I started this blog I wanted to be able to share what’s on my heart. I want it to be place where people can come to when they need encouragement. Today I will write about anxiety. I think that having anxiety is a huge epidemic in society today and I want to address it.
Before I started writing, I took a poll. I asked people from ages 10 to 60 about their experience with anxiety. The question was, “Would you say that you feel anxious about something right now? Whether it is a due date for an assignment, a bill you have to pay, a conversation you need to have with someone, or waiting for some big news? Answer yes or no.” Approximately 80% of people said yes, and 20% said no. The people that responded “no” said something along the lines of “No, but ask me again tomorrow!!” Some people just put a one-word answer, but 57% of the people that responded, went into detail about the anxiety they are experiencing. One of my close friends said, “Yes, yes, yes and yes. Honestly yes to all 4!” Another friend told me about the anxiety he was experiencing from searching for a job. He went into detail about the different things he was anxiously awaiting. I was expecting yes or no answers from my participants. Once I heard all of the detailed responses, I was immediately involved in their anxiety.
I think we are called to be in community with each other. We are called to be involved in each other’s anxiety. When I am feeling overwhelmed or anxious about something, I am in total need of a friend to encourage me. When a friend is feeling anxious about a test or an obstacle they are trying to overcome, it is our responsibility to pick them up and walk with them. I am realizing after my poll that my loved ones are just dying to share their worries with people. If you know a friend that is struggling, send them a note, shoot them a text, or buy them a coffee. This can make a big difference in that person’s attitude towards their anxiety.
Last semester, I was in my speech class complaining to my friend about my workload. She nodded her head in sympathy. She also said something that swirls around my head every time I am anxious about something. She said, “Just take a second and accept the fact that you have a crap load of homework.” So I did, and it set a fire under my butt. I passed the stage of feeling sorry for myself, and it was a great feeling. The next thing I would suggest is to breathe. Feeling anxious about a test? Stop. Take a deep breath and continue. Another thing that is helpful is to recall the last time you were overwhelmed and you succeeded. The paper will eventually be done. That bill will get paid. Remember what the finish line looks like. The last (and in my opinion the most important thing) is hope. I have a hope in Jesus Christ. I believe, and know; that he wants nothing more than to be the one I come to when I am anxious. He wants me to trust in him and not to worry. Find peace in the midst of your anxiety. God created us to live in community with each other.
Peace can overcome!
"An Anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25