Scripture: “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Prov. 12:25, NIV).
Did You Know?
Using the fact sheets regarding anxiety found at https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics, put together a trivia game for the women to play. Prizes might include candles, essential oils, facemasks, blankets, or adult coloring books.
Many types of breathing exercises that can help control anxiety can be found on the Internet. Share the following simple exercise with the women:
Five Finger Breathing—Ask the women to hold out their hand. Starting at the outside base of their thumb, inhale and use the index finger of their other hand to trace up to the tip of their thumb. When they reach the tip of their thumb, have them hold their breath for a few seconds before moving their index finger down the other side of their thumb, exhaling as they do. At this point their index finger should now rest between their thumb and index finger. They’ll repeat this process for each finger on their hand, and at the end they will have “taken five” breaths.
When experiencing anxiety in your life or observing it in others, here are some tips. For more information on these steps go to: https://psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-right-here-right-now/
- Take a deep breath
- Accept that you are anxious
- Question your thoughts
- Use calming visualization
- Be an observer—without judgment
- Use positive self–talk
- Focus on right now
- Focus on meaningful activities
Help for Today
We’ve all been there. After a long or difficult day, you’ve braved the busy grocery store. The line was miles long, the cashier extra chatty and the pin pad wasn’t working correctly. You’re finally home and it’s time to unload today’s purchases.
If you’re like me, you don’t relish the idea of taking multiple trips up and down the stairs between your car and your house. So, you roll up your sleeves, look critically at the bags in the trunk, and like a general directing their troops, you strategically begin loading up. Bags in hand, you somehow manage to shut the door to your car and begin the walk to your front door. At first, the weight of the bags doesn’t seem heavy, but as you approach the stairs and begin your ascent, gravity hits and your arms begin to feel fatigued.
You grit your teeth determined to make it and not drop a thing. You continue climbing the stairs and eventually, fearful your arms are going to give out, you arrive at your front door. You’ve made it! Except now you’re standing before the locked door mystified as to how you can get it open without losing your cargo. After a few tries, you realize it’s hopeless and with a sigh, you let go of the weight and unlock your door. Finally, inside and unpacked, you hope to take a quiet moment to recover from the day’s events. We’ve all experienced something like this. We all know what it’s like to carry a load so heavy that we’re not sure we can get from point A to point B without something falling apart.
This scene is reminiscent of anxiety in our lives. When we don’t manage our moments of anxiety, it can be like loading our arms up with these grocery bags. At first the weight might not seem too difficult to carry, and you may be managing it all just fine. Eventually, though you may soon find yourself staggering under the weight of all the old and new cares you carry from day to day.
God’s Word talks about why we shouldn’t worry. (Read Matthew 6:25-34.) We know that we serve a God who can handle anything. However, we can easily experience tunnel vision—able to see only what’s directly in front of us. As a result, we can lose perspective and sometimes our confidence and hope too.
In moments like this, it can be helpful to send out a mayday signal to a friend. Proverbs 12:25 tells us that “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” When we are faced with weighty moments of anxiety, we may need to reach out to our friends, family, therapist, officer, or other individuals that we trust to speak into our lives and share our burdens.
God didn’t intend for any of us to do life alone. He knew that we would need others around us. In fact, God says, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18 NIV). Thus, He made a companion for Adam in the form of Eve.
Who are the companions that God has placed in your life? Who are the people who can help you find perspective and encouragement? To whom can you be a friend, helping to release the burden that anxiety can be? Let’s pray for His guidance in these situations.