Anxiety isn’t something anyone chooses, but it is something many struggle with. There are many different reasons someone may experience more anxiety than the next person: genetics, how your brain is wired, previous trauma, perfectionism, and many others.
However you may not know this about me but I’m actually a part of a group of Christian leaders who struggle with anxiety called Capable Life. It’s led by a pastor named Steve Cuss and particularly, this group is oriented around dealing with anxiety among leadership. Recently, he identified a few causes of ongoing sources of pressure and anxiety and when talked about how we can discern what it causing it our unique anxieties and stresses. He says it can usually be boiled down to 5 things:
- Needing To Know The Answer
- Being There For People
One of the best tools that I’ve found as I look at these five things is to pause and have some curiosity about what I’m feeling. If you’re starting to feel anxious about something, I want you to stop and notice the anxiety. Pause. Then whether through a quick prayer or a series of deep breaths or a moment of pure silence/solitude, recognize that you don’t have to be in control, you don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to know the answer, you can’t be there for everyone, and you can’t earn everyone’s approval.
If you notice, God answers every one of those sources of anxiety. We don’t have to be in control because God is. We don’t have to be perfect because Christ already lived the perfect life on our behalf. We don’t need to know the answer always because God already knows. We can’t be there for everyone, but God is. Lastly, we don’t need to live for everyone’s approval because in Christ, God already approves of us.
These five sources might be pressure points for you today as you deal with anxiety or stress and I know they’ve really helped me in my life and I hope they really help you as well.