Most of the time, the holiday season brings with it warm and fuzzy feelings of joy and excitement...except when those feelings are pushed out by fear, worry, and anxiety. At this time, 31% of people struggle with anxiety in America alone. That’s nearly 1 in every 3 people—and it probably means that if you don’t personally struggle with it, chances are someone close to you does.
We know it can be exhausting to live with anxiety—the burden of the “what ifs” takes us away from “what is.” We weren’t made to carry these burdens alone. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” It can be overwhelming to know where to begin to lower the anxiety in our lives. Whether our worries are fueled by our conditions, something we’re concealing, or our desire for control, there are 3 key ways that we can actively and practically combat worries and anxiety.
1. Combat worries by naming them
The best way to take power away from your worries is to acknowledge them—write them down, say them out loud, just get them out of your mind and into the world, where you can evaluate them from a new angle. And once you’ve acknowledged them, name them. Give them a title that takes away their dignity and signifies that they are not worth your time. This will help to start clearing your mind of all the spinning “what if’s.”
2. Combat worries by praying
Anxiety is prayer in reverse—when we take our fears, worries, and anxieties to God, we put them in the proper context; the God of the universe hears us, and he cares for us. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Choosing to talk to God about our worries isn’t just an action, it’s a posture shift. Every worry, from the smallest one to the biggest one, can be given to God. If you’re not sure how to start, try talking to God about what you don’t know and thanking him for what you do know.
3. Combat worries by sharing
As followers of Jesus, we are called to share one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). That means you were not made to carry your burdens alone. We can combat our worries and anxieties by sharing them with a trusted friend, a partner, or our Group. And if our struggles with anxiety seem to be growing to a place where they’re harder to control, it might be time to begin looking into a counselor or medication to help us get to the root of the struggles.
Whether your anxiety spikes around the holidays or you struggle with anxious thoughts year-round, you’re not alone. But when we practice healthy ways to combat it, we can start to manage our fears, worries, and anxieties, and allow the one who cares for us to carry us.
To hear more about how to deal with anxiety, watch the full message. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety and would like to talk to someone about next steps, we’d love to connect with you. Find your location’s contact information and get in touch for encouragement, action steps, or to find a counseling service near you.
We also recommend the book Raising Worry-Free Girls by Sissy Goff as a resource for families who want to dig deep and learn practical ways to combat anxiety.