Modern life seems determined to undermine faith in God at every step. That’s why we gather: to remind ourselves we are not isolated—not from each other and not from God.
Adapted from The Anxiety Reset by Gregory L. Jantz Ph.D.
You stand at the threshold of a fruitful journey toward healing and restoration. Far from being alone on the road, you travel in the company of many others like you—but don’t take my word for it. As you set out, prove it to yourself beyond a doubt. Here’s how:
1. Accept fear as a universal part of life.
When you believe your fear makes you different from everyone else, you’ve created a false wall around yourself. Tear down that wall by acknowledging that your fear doesn’t separate you from everyone else; it connects you. Fear is universal to the human experience. Finish this sentence in as many ways as you can think of: “We all feel afraid when…”
2. Be your own best travel companion.
There is wisdom in the common saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” How sad, then, that so many of us go through life with a harsh and unforgiving attitude toward the person we’re closest to—ourselves! The road ahead is long. How about lightening the load by easing up on yourself? For one day, carry a pad and pen with you and pay attention to your inner dialogue. What things are you saying to yourself throughout the day that could be adding to your anxiety? Examples of negative self-talk that increases anxiety include mind reading (She didn’t say hello when I walked in, so she must be upset with me for something), labeling (I’m a loser), and overgeneralization (I’ll never get it right; this always happens to me). Would you plant these kinds of self-defeating thoughts in the mind of your best friend? Of course not. Be a better friend to yourself. And while you’re carrying around that pad of paper, make a list of thirty of your best qualities. Every day for the next thirty days, pick one quality every morning and, while looking in the mirror, compliment yourself on that quality. Out loud.
3. Join a support group.
In every community, people just like you gather on a regular basis to move just a little further down the road to freedom from anxiety in their own lives—and to help others do the same. Find them. Join them. Spend twenty minutes today doing a little research on ways to connect. How do you find a support group in your community? Ask friends for their recommendations. Look online. Make a few phone calls. And then make plans to visit several to find the right fit.
4. Look for opportunities to become involved—or more involved—in church.
As you’ll see in the pages ahead, spirituality is perhaps your most valuable asset in your quest for wellness. Modern life seems determined to undermine faith in God at every step. That’s why we gather: to remind ourselves we are not isolated—not from each other and not from God. If you are attending a local church, take ten minutes and visit your church’s website for information about small groups or opportunities to join a team that is serving in some way, whether that means providing childcare, manning the coffee shop, or greeting people as they walk in the door. And if you are not attending church and are open to doing so, take ten minutes and google churches in your neck of the woods. Check out a website or two to see when services are held. If you don’t see something that piques your interest, call at least one friend and ask where he or she attends. Then choose a church to visit this week or next. Finding a spiritual community can play a vital role in your growth and healing.
5. Seek out a mentor.
As you settle into your new group relationships, keep your eyes open for someone among them who is ahead of you on the path and who seems to have gained the perspective and wisdom you seek. Invite them to coffee or lunch and ask them to share what they’ve learned. Mentoring doesn’t have to be a formal arrangement with weekly meetings. Look for positive, encouraging people who seem interested in your growth, tell them you’d like to learn from them, and see where things go from there.
Featured image photo by Austin Ban on Unsplash
The Anxiety Reset by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD.
Individualized solutions for conquering anxiety from acclaimed mental health expert Dr. Gregory Jantz. If you or someone you love has lost hope of ever getting free from occasional, persistent, or overwhelming anxiety, take heart. The Anxiety Reset offers a fresh, personalized plan for overcoming the fears that are robbing you of joy and peace. Combining the most up-to-date scientific research, real-life stories, and practical strategies, The Anxiety Reset empowers you to understand and overcome the fears that have been holding you back.