Anxiety is something we all experience, and right now we are in a perfect storm of potentially anxiety invoking circumstances. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, many are facing uncertainty with work and school, the worry about racial injustice and the unrest in the country, we are in the middle of a presidential campaign and hurricane season…and that’s not even counting all the usual suspects that provoke our anxiety.
Anxiety itself is not a bad thing. Anxiety can help protect us from dangerous situations and sets off necessary alarm bells when we need to be paying extra attention, but when that anxiety gets out of control it can severely limit our ability to function and can prevent us from living in the present moment. It can feel overwhelming at times, but there are simple steps we can take to help keep our anxiety in check.
5 Tips for Managing Anxiety
One easy tool to utilize to try to bring yourself into the moment is some intentional breathing. I like to use the 4-4-4 breathing exercise because it is easy to remember. For this exercise you just focus on your breathing, counting slowly to four as you breathe in, it will feel like a long time. You then hold the breath for the same slow, four-count. You then exhale for (you guessed it) a slow four seconds. Then repeat this process. The four-count forces you to be intentional and focused on your breath, take your time, do not rush it.
If you are looking for resources to help with mindfulness there are lots of great apps and websites which provide guidance, but you can also find a ton of helpful videos on YouTube for free. Plug “mindfulness” into the search bar (along with other words that might help you narrow down your searches like “anxiety” or “Christian”) and start exploring to find videos that work for you.
I also find it helpful to choose some scripture to meditate on when I feel my anxiety level rising. Here are just a few scripture verses that help me:
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.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Connection with God is also important during this time. Anxiety comes with lots of irrational and negative thoughts, and while there are some great tools for challenging irrational thoughts, the best tool for fighting those thoughts is listening to the voice of Truth.
The important thing to remember is that you do not have to deal with anxiety alone. If you find that you are unable to manage your anxiety on your own, we have counselors available who can help you examine the sources and triggers of your anxiety and can work with you to develop the tools and coping strategies that work best for you. You can reach Northland’s Counseling Referral Line at 407-949-7204 or CounselingReferral@NorthlandChurch.net for more information or to set up an appointment.