When you think of a person who is dealing with anxiety, a you might picture someone who is paralyzed with fear, someone who can barely get out of bed in the morning, or someone who talks a lot about endless worries.
Some people do react in those ways when dealing with anxiety. But researchers have found that others—especially men—may tend to react differently. One report states that men “are more likely to use alcohol and drugs to cope with anxiety, so what looks like a drinking problem may actually be an underlying anxiety disorder. And anxiety in men often manifests as anger and irritability.”
Of course, not all men react the same way. But regardless of a person’s reaction to it, anxiety is a growing problem in these “critical times [that are] hard to deal with.” (2 Timothy 3:1) If you are dealing with anxiety, can the Bible help you?
Practical Bible Advice on Dealing With Anxiety
The Bible contains a wealth of reliable advice that can help us when we are anxious. Consider three examples.
1. “Never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.”—Matthew 6:34.
Meaning: We are wise to avoid excessive worry about what may (or may not) happen in the future. Oftentimes, things do not turn out the way we fear they will. In some cases, things even unexpectedly change for the better.
Try this: Recall times in the past when you were certain that something bad would happen—but it did not. Then evaluate your current worries, trying to be as realistic as possible about how likely they are to become major issues.
2. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens his friend.”—Proverbs 27:17.
Meaning: Other people can help us deal with our anxieties—if we let them. They may be able to give us some practical suggestions based on their own life experience. At the very least, they can probably give us an outside perspective on the situation.
Try this: Think of someone who might have good advice to offer, such as a friend who has dealt with a problem similar to one you are facing. Ask him what worked or did not work for him.
3. “Throw all your anxiety [or “cares; worries,” footnote] on him, because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7.
Meaning: God has deep concern for those who are suffering. He invites us to pray to him about anything that weighs on our mind.
Try this: Make a list of things that are causing you anxiety. Then pray to God about those concerns, explaining each problem and asking for his help to deal with it.
When Anxiety Will Be No More
The Bible offers more than advice on dealing with anxiety. It promises a time in the near future when the worries we have today will be gone forever. How will that happen?
This is the future that “the God who gives peace” wants for you. (Romans 16:20) He assures us: “I well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you, . . . thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11.