• Meg Herndon

Anxiety 101

I laid awake in bed last night, thoughts racing, heart pounding, and then I decided to pray. This wasn't the first time. This happens to me on a regular basis. I work myself up to being so anxious that I can't fall asleep. I'm sure you can relate.

There are more than three million cases of Anxiety Disorder in the United States. We live in a time where information is flung into our faces 24/7. We never get a break and neither does our brain. All the information we could possibly want is accessible with a touch of our thumbprint. It is amazing how much I look at my phone in a day. This summer when I had the opportunity to go to California I lost all cell service for a week. That time away from social media felt like the best cleanse of my life. I felt refreshed. I did not feel panicked and I had no trouble sleeping while I was there.

Lately, I have heard so much advice on anxiety. My pastor recently did an amazing sermon on anxiety. One of my professional development sessions in August was centered around anxiety and how to cope. People are anxious and they are looking for help.

I wanted to share some simple ways I believe we can use to fight our anxiety.

1. PUT THE PHONE DOWN...turn it off. Seriously, hit that power button. I know the more I look at my phone the more I start to feel anxious. I feel a need to catch up with everyone else on social media. I feel like I need what others have or I somehow won't measure up. Social media is a disease in itself and should be used in moderation.

2. READ SCRIPTURE...daily. Nothing is more refreshing than God's word. His words have the ability to sooth my soul and to offer me comfort. Instead of spending thirty minutes checking Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, check out a bible app. One of my favorites is She Reads Truth! They offer monthly plans for free on their website or for a small price on their app. Honestly, this app is wonderful because they provide so much scripture every single day along with a raw and honest devotion to match.

3. BlOCK THE NEGATIVITY...literally. Fill your timelines with positivity. Instead of feeding into the arguments and negativity offer positive vibes. I absolutely love Soul Scripts by Jordan Lee. She is constantly posting life-giving content and it is always welcome. It is easy to get wrapped up in the "drama" of social media but it doesn't have to be that way for you.

4. HEALTHY BODY = HEALTHY MIND. Take care of yourself. I'm not telling you to become a powerlifter and count macros but I am saying take a walk. Get outside and breathe some fresh air. Sit in the grass. Stare up at the sky in wonder. Go for a run without your phone. Go for a hike. Hit the gym with one of your besties. Encourage one another. Fill your body with the goodness God has provided. Excercise can do wonders for an anxious mind. I know for me personally, my thoughts seem to melt away during my workouts.

5. STOP MAKING YOUR PLANS...and follow His. God's timing is perfect. It is not our timing so we will never understand how His works. We don't see the future as God does. He has it all figured out while we just have a small puzzle piece to hold onto. The best thing that we can do is walk in His ways every single day. We can stop getting in our own way and just trust.

6. JOIN A COMMUNITY. We are not meant to be alone. God doesn't want us to be alone. Sometimes it is easier to be alone but encouraging ourselves does not come easy. We need life-giving people by our sides day in and day out. Find a place where God can use others to lift you up while you do the same in return.

Now, of course, these aren't a cure all and I am not an expert. I will say that you have to work every day at killing the anxiety. It does not happen over night. So remember the process instead of striving for perfection. Take it one day at a time. Step by step. Piece by piece.

All my love,