Feeling Overwhelmed?

1420670463o-AFRICAN-AMERICAN-WOMAN-STRESS-facebookHow to work through worry and anxiety A common struggle for many women is the need to ensure life is in a specific order. We want to make sure those around us are taken care of and that things are going the way we think it should. Women nowadays are balancing an array of responsibilities, all in an effort to make sure our loved ones are happy. Being a stay at home mom no longer means just taking care of the kids, being a Career Woman no longer means just going to the office, and being a student no longer means just attending classes. We feel we must aim for perfection because we don’t want to disappoint, but how do we deal with the unexpected that disrupt our plans?

A sudden death, a child walking down a harmful path, a friend betraying us, or a community we care about gossiping about us can cause us all to feel overwhelmed. We wonder “Why did this happen? Where will we go from here? What if tomorrow brings new problems?” The more we try to fix the issue by thinking about it, the more we worry that it will never be fixed. In actuality our main problem is not the circumstances we face but our response to them. We allow our feelings of uneasiness to take over our hearts and minds.

Worry stems from our need to be in control. No one likes the unknown and not being certain of what will come next can literally freeze you from moving forward in life. There will always be something to worry about, but worrying does not in any way improve your life. It can prevent us from making important decisions like marriage, changing careers, or leaving a harmful relationship, all of which ends up leaving us unhappy.

I want you to look back and try to recall times in your life where you have allowed worry to take over. Did anything beneficial happen by worrying? Did the situation change because you worried about it? Would things have ended up the same way it is now if you didn’t worry?

The only thing that worry does is drain you. It physically, emotionally, and spiritually takes life out of you. It causes medical conditions you may have never had and changes your attitude towards life. Worry is a natural emotion but it also is an unproductive one.

Continuously worrying can lead to feelings of anxiety. Anxiety is acknowledged as a clinical diagnosis by the Psychiatric community. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are 60% more likely to suffer from anxiety compared to men. So does that mean there’s no hope? Absolutely not! Although part of it is accredited to genetics, the other part has to do with how we deal with difficulties. We need to maintain a healthy way to release these emotions so that we aren’t just sitting around thinking and trying to figure out a solution to something beyond our control.

Prayer is a powerful worry and anxiety de-activator. You can also engage in physical activity like going for a walk or doing yoga to help release some of that negative energy. Having a trusted friend to talk to can also help clear your mind and see things from a new perspective. You need to find a way that works for you to release the negative and realize things are not as bad as they seem. Anything that happens in life can be resolved but if you are busy only looking at what’s wrong, you will miss out on the good things.

Although we all experience worry and anxiety, not all of us are able to get past those feelings and move forward with life. If you find yourself having a hard time dealing with these emotions on your own, there is no shame in seeking professional help from a psychologist or therapist.

Worrying and being anxious can start off as a tiny problem but it can grow into an addictive behavior quickly, to the point where all we do is worry about one thing or another. You were meant to live a life that you enjoy and to live it in abundance (John 10:10). Decide today that from now on worry and anxiety will have no place in your life. You will see that life suddenly seems full of hope and your decision to live free will be an encouragement to others as well.

WellnessBetsy ChackoComment