Tom Thompson, Founder of The Refuge (Columbus, Ohio Area) discusses the value of the Drug Recovery Elevate Group organized by Mission Columbus.
by Greg Schad
Executive Director, Crossroads Counseling Group
1. Take care of your body
Our body, mind (with emotions) and soul are all connected! It’s important to take care of our body so our mind and emotions function optimally. Keep unhealthy stuff out (caffeine, alcohol, etc.), and put healthy stuff in. Consistent sleep patterns, exercise, and healthy food (including a daily multi-vitamin) can help. Breathe deeply.
2. Reduce screen time
Studies are showing that smartphones and lots of screen time can increase anxiety. Try an experiment: Eliminate social media interaction for two weeks. Limit consumption of news feeds to 10 minutes or less a day. Snap or text only when communication is necessary. I bet anxiety will decrease!
3. Don’t give anxiety a vote
If anxiety had its way, it would make us live in a shoebox and never come out. When you notice anxiety saying what you can or can’t do, don’t give it vote. Consider what you would choose if anxiety wasn’t whispering in your ear. Then, do that!
4. Focus on right now
Anxiety tries to get us to think negatively about the future. WHAT IF this? or WHAT IF that? When you hear the “WHAT IF’S” in your head, tell anxiety to go away! Then, focus on right now.
5. Notice your gratitude
Gratitude is a wonderful antidote for anxiety. Consider writing out 10, 20, 50 reasons you are thankful. Maybe write down seven on a card (or on your phone) that you can look at a few times a day to remember how grateful you truly are!
6. Read the Word
Being a Christian doesn’t mean we are immune from anxiety. But our faith life can help! Ask the Lord to increase your peace as you walk with Him and feed on the Word. Most folks find it easier to trust the Lord when we read even just a little bit of scripture each day.
7. Seek help if you need it!
God built us to have relationships with one another. Share your struggles with trusted friends or family members — or a professional if needed. We don’t have to struggle alone!