Let’s set the scene: it’s 3am, and you hear your smoke detector. It isn’t going off at full blast, but you hear it chirping once, then twice. You’re probably tempted to just take out the batteries and deal with it later so you can get back to sleep, but what if you’re missing a faint trace of smoke indicating that a full flame is about to break loose?
Anxiety can be just like that persistent, chirping fire alarm. It isn't just an annoying disturbance; it often alerts us that something is wrong. We often hope that by simply ignoring it – by taking out the batteries – our worries will eventually go away. But more often than not, the only way to reducing anxiety is by investigating what’s wrong and making necessary changes.
What your anxiety may be trying to tell you
Just like a smoke detector alerts us when there might be a fire, anxiety typically points to something specific in our lives that's out of balance. Whether it’s misaligned priorities, unhealthy habits, or fears that are out of control, anxiety is the whistleblower. Here are three things your anxiety may be trying to tell you:
1. You need help
Just like attempting to extinguish a fire alone can be a futile (and dangerous) endeavor, trying to carry the weight of your problems on your own can lead to burnout and emotional distress. Whether it's the burdens of daily life, work-related stress, or deep-seated personal issues, anxiety may be signaling that you need support.
Help can take various forms, such as anti-anxiety medications, talk therapy, or simply re-evaluating your priorities and responsibilities. Sometimes, it means delegating tasks or seeking support from friends and family.
Consider Galatians 6:2, which encourages us to "share in each other's burdens and in this way obey the law of Christ." This verse reminds us that we're not meant to bear our burdens alone. We’ve made it easier than ever to find your people that you can share you burdens with – head to our website and check out our Group Finder, where you can join a Group in your community.
2. You need to be more present with your loved ones
In the relentless pursuit of success and accomplishment, we often lose sight of what truly matters in life: our relationships. Anxiety may act as a wake-up call, indicating that while you may be stacking up wins at work, you might be losing the most valuable aspects of your life—your family, your relationships, your home.
Matthew 16:26 asks a thought-provoking question: "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" This verse reminds us that worldly success can come at the cost of our most precious connections.
It's crucial to assess where your energy is being channeled. Are you investing it in the right places, or are you neglecting the people who matter most to you? Reconnecting with your loved ones, rekindling lost bonds, and reevaluating your priorities may be the key to regaining balance.
3. You need Jesus
As followers of Jesus, anxiety can be a reminder that we need to rekindle our relationship with Jesus. It's not enough to have knowledge about Jesus; you need to walk with him in your daily life. Just as reading about a person can't replace spending quality time with them, collecting facts about Jesus doesn't nourish your soul as effectively as spending time in his presence.
Matthew 11:28 offers a comforting message: "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." This verse emphasizes the restorative power of a relationship with Jesus. When life's burdens become overwhelming, turning to him can provide solace and guidance.
To make this relationship a part of your daily routine, consider setting aside dedicated time for reading the Bible and talking to Jesus. If you're unsure where to begin, try checking out one of our Bible Reading Plans – they can help you go deeper in your faith and strengthen your connection with Jesus.
Anxiety is a part of life, and it may never completely vanish. But ignoring it will only lead to more distress and discomfort. Instead, think of anxiety as a valuable tool that can guide you toward a place of health and peace. By listening to what your anxiety is trying to tell you, you can address the underlying issues, seek support when needed, and ultimately find greater balance and well-being in your life.
While anxiety can be helpful in pointing out the things in life that need our attention, it can be incredibly overwhelming. We’d love to help. Check out some of our latest resources on anxiety:
Or head to our full Anxiety Resources page where you’ll find messages, articles, and more to help you attack your anxiety.