Are you feeling anxious more than ever these days?
If you are, let me tell you, you are certainly not the only one.
It seems like everywhere I look on social media, I’m seeing posts about people feeling anxiety right now.
It was already rampant in our culture before COVID-19, and now it’s off the chain.
This causes me a lot of concern. I’ve lost both my husband and my son to suicide. For people with mental illness, anxiety is often a huge factor.
There are two specific things you can do to alleviate some of that anxiety today and every day going forward.
1. Reach out to someone
Talk to somebody. Let them know what you’re doing, what you’re feeling, and where you are.
It’s a simple phone call, even though I know when you’re suffering from anxiety, that call can be the hardest thing to do.
Do not think for one second that you’ll be bothering that friend or family member. You will not be a burden to them. They want to hear from you.
You’re also not the only one feeling this way. You might find that by reaching out, you’ll be able to commiserate and help each other through.
The good news about these social media posts is that people are admitting their feelings. That’s the first step that so many won’t take.
2. Shift your focus
This works for me when I’m feeling uncertain or anxious and it’s been a real gamechanger.
Shifting your focus is not easy to do. It’s something I’ve been practicing for a long time. You have to be able to shift from what you’re feeling or seeing or hearing at that moment and focus on something else.
I do it first thing in the morning, every day. We set the tone from the first thought of how we’re going to think for the rest of the day.
But most of us get up and immediately think of all of the things that are not right, especially in these uncertain times.
We rehash in our minds all of the things that we’ve lost, all the grief, burdens, and stress we have. Then those negative thoughts and feelings become our focus for the day and they dictate how we feel and react.
Here are ways to capture your thoughts:
- Determine are you feeling bored or anxious?
- Identify the thought.
- Make the choice to shift your focus to something else.
When I wake up, I shift my focus by reading a devotion, journaling, or listening to something positive. They help me set the tone of what my thought is for the day. I also reach out to people and let them know how I’m feeling.
The last thing you want to do – even though we’re quarantining – is to completely isolate yourself from the rest of the world.
This is NOT the time to shut down and think that nobody wants to hear from you, that you’re the only one feeling this way, or that you should just get over it…
Now is the time to focus on who you are, what you do, and your God-given purpose on this planet.
Above all remember: you matter.
Vision is Victory,