According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, anxiety disorders (which include conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and phobias) are the most common mental health problems. In addition, anxiety is a common symptom of many other mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder and PTSD. Nearly everyone with a serious mental health challenge experiences anxiety to some degree.
In addition to therapy and medication, a number of everyday steps can help those dealing with anxiety manage their symptoms and live meaningful lives.
A Consistent Routine
Consistency can play a big role in managing anxiety. Daily habits like a morning cup of tea, walking a dog or a regular bedtime can help to provide stability that can make it easier to deal with symptoms and stick to a treatment plan. Practices that reduce stress, such as breathing exercises, prayer, meditation and listening to relaxing music, can be especially helpful in quieting feelings of apprehension. In addition, regularly scheduled, enjoyable activities can offer a distraction from anxious thoughts.
A wealth of studies has shown that getting active can help to reduce anxiety, both immediately and for hours or even days to come. In addition to exercise (like going for a run or a bike ride), any pursuit that gets the body moving can be beneficial—from gardening to dancing.
Enjoying nature can be particularly helpful in lowering stress. And, on top of helping quell anxious thoughts, both physical exertion and spending time outdoors can make it easier to sleep well at night—another important habit that’s vital to good mental health.
Faith in an good, unchanging and loving God can provide a sense of stability in the midst of stress, and practices such as prayer, reading the Bible and worshiping in community can have numerous benefits for those who struggle with anxiety. For example, praying and meditating on God’s Word can reduce stress and provide a sense of peace, and belief in Him has been shown to make a person more likely to respond to treatment for mental illness.
The support of others can make a huge difference for those dealing with nearly any mental health challenge, and anxiety is no exception. Social connections increase a person’s resilience in stressful situations, and can even decrease the likelihood that they will experience fear and distress. Having friends who understand and care about struggles, as well as being a friend to others, serves as a constant reminder to those who wrestle with anxiety that they are not alone.
The Well Community helps those living with anxiety brought on by serious mental illnesses take everyday steps like these that enable them to better manage their conditions. At The Well, they find friends who encourage and pray for them, and have opportunities to participate in fun and meaningful activities. They share meals regularly and they worship and fellowship together at Thursday Night Life and during twice-a-year spiritual retreats, helping them cultivate faith that provides stability in the midst of challenges.
Your gift will help The Well Community continue to come alongside those living serious mental illnesses, helping them take steps toward recovery.