By Molly Meeks, LPC
Anxiety? No Thanks!
“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” (Philippians 4:6-7).
This is easier said than done! In today’s world, we live in an era where stress and anxiety prevail. We are bombarded with expectations: those we put on ourselves trying to live life “right” and those given to us by work and caring for our families, including children and parents.
Technology adds to this problem! We are expected to be able to get in touch with someone instantly. I googled, “What is the expected time for a response when we try to contact someone?” And I found different sites telling how to manage our time better so we could respond more efficiently to every email.
In other words, I got advice on how to manage more things in less time. I could not find a single site that suggested cutting back or evaluating whether multitasking was worth it. I found suggestions like, “Do the most important thing first, and check your email on a schedule, and keep website addresses organized.” There was even an article about managing keystrokes “because efficiency matters”! Really?!?
As counselors, we try to help our clients find a healthy balance by teaching them how to prioritize the demands of life such as work, family, and taking care of one’s self. Jesus came to us in human form. He rested, retreated to the desert, and took time out to care for himself. Since Jesus rested—our Jesus who is perfect in every way—then surely we can give ourselves permission to rest. And let’s not forget God! God created the world in six days and then HE rested on the seventh.
So, if you don’t want to be anxious about anything, you can choose to follow the biblical wisdom and take time out for yourself to relax, take a deep breath, and breathe.
Want to start now? Here’s a relaxation exercise you can try.
Sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Relax and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Consciously focus on relaxing your body, feet, legs, hands, arms, etc. In your mind, go to a place where you feel safe, happy, and relaxed—mine is the beach! Using visualization, try to incorporate as many senses as you can, including smell, sight, sound, and touch. If you imagine relaxing at the ocean, for instance, think about the smell of salt water, the sound of seagulls, and the warmth of the sun on your body.
Relax and enjoy this time of rest!
Molly Meeks, LPC, is a therapist at Summit Counseling providing counsel in the areas of caregiving, depression, stress, anxiety, loneliness, and grief. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.949.1949.