13 Mar 6 Ways To Mitigate Anxiety
In what is a growing concern nationwide, mental health issues have seen statistics rise substantially over the last decade. More specifically, anxiety affects 40 million adults, or 18.1% of our population, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. What contributes to the feelings of anxiety differs for each individual. Our upbringings, families, interests, desires, priorities, and external conditions all play a role. Some people are better able to handle anxiety stressors than others, and that is perfectly okay.
Although anxiety in general seems to be increasing amongst Americans, what is more concerning is how many people experience the feeling of being completely dominated by it.
The reality is that every single person experiences anxiety in some way, but we all have variations as to how well we respond. The growing concern over anxiety isn’t just that it’s present in more people. Another problem is that more people are unable to effectively work through their anxiety. It can become so unbearable that it clouds our minds and alters our decisions.
What I have observed in myself, many of my peers, and people whom I’ve met, is that we naturally try to act as the King of our life. We believe we control everything; all thoughts, decisions, and actions. Our life trajectory goes as we go…that is our belief. I have fallen victim to this myself, and have learned the deep truths of this false reality. My darkest traces of depression and suicidal ideation were when I thought I had full control over everything.
Recently, I have had some anxiety about my career path, and the fear of not accomplishing personal goals by the time I want to. Sometimes the fears and uncertainties do get the best of me, and my mind begins feeling clouded and confused.
But what I have learned over the past couple of years is that although there is much in our life that we can control, there are many things that we cannot. Accepting that, admitting that, and practicing the act of letting go has been crucial in turning my anxiety to mental peacefulness and emotional prosperity.
But you may be thinking, “Okay, fair enough, I can work to accept that. I think I have admitted that. But letting go…what does that mean? What do I let go of and who do I let go to?”
For the first 22 years of my life, I asked myself the same questions. I had no outlet or filter for my stress to go, besides stirring inside my mind. But as I learned and have grown, I have come to know that God is the only that can be relied on. Not only is God the one that I can release my anxiety and insecurities to, but God literally says He wants to take them off of our shoulders so we can be freed of that struggle.
Take a look at what is said in Philippians 4:6-7:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This verse is encouraging because God tells us how to remove our anxiety. God is the answer for a free mind that I didn’t previously know was accessible. He is telling us to remove anxiousness no matter what situation, and instead, turn to Him and ask Him to come into our lives to heal what we’re struggling with. He doesn’t want us to do it alone, because we can’t. We’re imperfect and flawed. And He knows that. Only He can fix what we cannot.
One particular aspect of my relationship with the Lord that has eased my anxiousness is in his promise to everyone who follows Him. He says to every prayer and request, that He will answer it with either, “Yes, No, or Wait.” I have experienced this time and time again. When I present my questions, prayers, requests and areas of anxiety to God, there has been no time where He has left this unanswered. Sometimes it’s not always what I want to hear, but it’s what I have to hear. And that is just as vital to the healing of anxiety. It provides certainty, clarity, and truth.
I find it so encouraging that in all of life’s stressors and uncertainties, that God will answer every time when we trust and turn to Him.
I didn’t think this was the answer a few years ago, and didn’t even care about knowing what the answer was. But I am thankful that now I do know the truth. In my 25 years, the recent years where I have put my faith in God have been the most freeing to my mind and heart. The internal anxiety I often encounter is able to be freed when I am intentional about releasing it to God and trusting Him in the process. I have witnessed this personally time and time again, and my life has never been the same, when anxiety and confusion used to rule.
This is great news for all of us, as I think it is often misperceived that there are no solutions to our anxiety.
I want to leave you with a few additional tips that have helped turn my anxiety into internal contentment.
Here are 6 Ways To Mitigate Anxiety:
- Don’t isolate yourself. Stay plugged in with those you love and trust.
- Remove toxicity from your life, whether that is people, things, or thoughts.
- Exercise and eat right consistently.
- Reinvent your focus. Putting your focus on God is the way to win. Society is great at shifting our focus towards insignificant things. Let’s put it on the one who can actually make real changes in our life.
- Don’t let your end goals and aspirations sabotage your current enjoyment and day-to-day journey.
- Be vulnerable and honest with yourself and those around you. Hiding, lying, and sweeping things under the rug will only stir more anxiety in the long run.
I hope this can act as a source of encouragement for you all! Even in times when it feels like anxiety is controlling us, remember that we have the opportunity to mitigate it.
How are you going to improve your anxious feelings this week?