But why am I anxious?
As an adult, you’re often told told to “grow up,” and “suck it up,” along with any other cliche phrases many mistake as words of encouragement.
If you’re surrounded by other believers, you’re thrown scriptures like, “Cast your worries unto Him,” and “God’s gonna work it out.”
We never have a moment to be vulnerable and have someone just listen… just sit down and have a dialogue about what we’re struggling with.
Whether it be stress from school, work, or at home, we have moments where we feel unsettled, tired, afraid, and we allow our fears to paralyze us.
I will be the first to tell you that I suffer from a strange form of anxiety. Every few months or so, I stop caring about anything and everything. I complete shutdown and for my own sanity, I isolate myself from everyone so I don’t say anything super offensive that’ll turn people away from ever speaking to me again.
My mind becomes clouded. I get lost in my negative thoughts. And I can’t see the silver lining in any situation, even though I know the outcome will be something good…
Don’t get me wrong… I know I have so many blessings pouring out in my life, but when anxiety creeps in it can be difficult for me to see how blessed I am.
Simply put… I am human. And I constantly ask myself, “Why am I anxious?”
We see the same scenario with David in Psalms 139.
From verses 1-22, David is addressing God; admiring God’s vast knowledge of who he is, how he was made in God’s likeness, what his future looks like, and how he cannot even hide himself from God, God just know him that well. He asks God for protection against his enemies.
But in the very same Psalm, David cries out, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
Despite knowing who God is and what He does in our lives, we can still have some anxiety, because we worry about how we will handle the unknown. Our days are completely ordered and numbered, so we have a constant fear of what is to come. Our negative thinking is our enemy.
What I want you to understand is that God knows your anxious thoughts. He knows what you worry about. He knows what keeps you up late at night. He knows your stresses the very moment you start your day. He knows what can offset your day.
The question is, will you lean on Him in the midst of your worries?
Here are five things to remember when anxiety kicks in and you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- What you are feeling is very real: This is your moment to understand that it is completely okay to feel vulnerable, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to feel angry, and it’s completely okay to be doubtful. This is what being human is about. We are emotional beings, so give yourself permission to have feelings.
- This is only temporary: What you are feeling now in this moment is aligned with what is currently going on in your life. However, nothing lasts forever, so what you’re angry or upset about today may not matter tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.
- You are not alone: There is someone else out here that is dealing with the same turmoil as you. You may not realize it, but I’m sure you have a very close friend who may be dealing with the same physical, mental, financial, and even spiritual battles as you. This is your time to connect with those friends and find common ground on how you can lift each other up.
- It gets better: Even though you may not see it now, but eventually, things get better. But ask yourself, “what can I do today to make tomorrow better?”
- Find what feels “good”: If your anxiety is continually getting the best of you, find something that will take your mind away from your worries, and focus on one task at a time. Here are 30 things you can do to reduce anxiety and get your mind off your worries:
- Go for a walk
- Ride your bike
- Practice yoga
- Engage in intense cardio
- Read a self-help book
- Journal and declare your dreams
- Watch your favorite movie
- Take yourself to the movies
- Make a playlist of all your favorite songs
- Call a friend
- Watch an online sermon or Ted Talk
- Cook yourself your favorite meal
- Visit a new restaurant
- Light a candle
- Take a relaxing bath
- Get your hair and nails done
- Have an at-home spa day
- Get a massage
- Take yourself shopping
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Give yourself a selfie photoshoot
- Rearrange your furniture
- Buy yourself new sheets
- Color in an adult coloring book
- Go somewhere in the city
- Visit the beach
- Donate your old clothes and books to charity
- Declutter your home
- Do a social media detox
- Make a gratitude list
For more reading, please check out my favorite scriptures that calm my spirit.