Getting Equipped for the Growing Anxiety Problem

Take a look around. No matter what kind of appearance or persona you see in others, more people are struggling with anxiety than ever before. The unsettledness and inner torment is wearing away at many, who have often not even shared with anyone how bad the anxious thoughts are in their mind.

Anxiety is a growing problem that will not go away until we address the underlying issues that need to be healed.

Anxiety disorders are the number one mental health issue facing us today. Over 40 million people battle it, not to mention the sea of people that are struggling in silence.

A survey revealed 41% of employees from a range of industries reported high levels of anxiety in the workplace. Another report found that more than half of college students that visit campus clinics site anxiety as a major concern.

The rise of anxiety is revealing the pain and heartache people are facing.

Anxiety Battles in Famales

Studies show that women are twice as likely as men to have anxiety. There can be a variety of reasons as to why this is true.

One factor to consider that most women are more in tuned with their emotional life than many men are. This is not always the case, because I have personally consulted with a number of females who we not able to identify their emotions or process through their internal battles efficiently.

But as the linked article states, it’s also related to the observation that women have twice as much to think about as men. The pressure factors shows an increase of a heavy burden that is being carried in her thoughts and emotions.

Suppressed Anxiety in Men

Men are often less likely to identify their anxiety issues, though it will manifest in mood changes, anger and an increase vulnerability to addictions. Because men are not always taught how to deal with their emotions, they are not always able to recognize their struggle with anxiety. Most fears are suppressed. On the outside, many men can appear strong, while on the inside, fear is in heavy operation.  

The Fear Factor in Anxiety

It’s important that you recognize that anxiety is another name for fear. It’s the looming presence of fear, projecting a lack of safety and peace in the moment and future.

It took me a while to realize that anxiety symptoms stem from fear. Back during my early years of struggle, I did not know it was fear, nor did I have the tools to address what I was feeling.

Most of the time, I just saw myself as “messed up” in my mind.

Anxiety and Childhood Formations

The formations of anxiety go back to our family footprint and our experiences as a child. Anxiety often runs in generations. Certain childhood experiences and unhealthy thinking then amplify an anxiety-ridden pattern.

Whenever I work with people who have anxiety issues, I want to get a sense of their family foundation. I want to know the culture they grew up with. Were they able to receive love and nurture in real and dynamic ways? Were they trained to identify their emotions and process through pain productively?

We first learn how to receive love through our relationship with Dad and Mom. They set the foundation for how love is processed and what our response to anxious thoughts will be. When someone experiences love in a powerful way, it has the ability to drive out fear. Yet for most, their love experience as children was not filled in an effective way, thus making them vulnerable to anxiety.

Children also watch how their parents deal with their own issues. I am constantly aware of how my children watch me process through my own pain and struggles. They pick up on those patterns, which influence how they will face battles in their own life.

Very Little Tools and Training

Most people who have anxiety admit they were not taught how to overcome it. For me, I never even brought it up as a child, because I was so ashamed. I felt like I was so weak and inferior in my anxiety issues, that I just felt like someone was wrong in how I was made.

I was a very fearful, anxiety-ridden child, teenager and young adult. I didn’t know what to do with how I felt. I didn’t have voices to help me learn how to process pain and overcome the battle with anxiety.

Equipping Marriages and Homes

This is why I am so passionate about equipping homes to be safe places for eradicating anxiety. I’m especially fired up about helping men get equipped to establish spiritual and emotional safety in his home. I believe that masses of men have been taking out by fear and are emotionally passive at home. This is giving rise to fear in marriage and in the home.

When my wife and I speak with married women who struggle with anxiety, a common question we ask is, “What has your husband’s involvement been up until this point? Is he praying with you? Is he processing with you?” Unfortunately, the common answers we get are. “He’s not doing anything” or “He’s told me to get over it.”

Yet these marriages still carry on an appearance that everything is ok. Meanwhile, fear continues its torment underneath the facade.

Our Reference for Protection

God refers to Himself as a “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), yet for many, the reference for what it feels like to be protected has been stolen.

Anxiety forms in us at a young age because of how we feel protected or not protected. Are we able to connect to a sense of safety?

If you’re struggling with something and you tell your parents, too many times, the historical reaction was, “Oh. Just stop thinking that way,” or “Just stop feeling that way.” There is little equipping and processing given.

There is no ability to be able to dig into the issue and break it down. Many people grow up feeling neglected in being able to process their pain. If parents are not working with their own anxiety issues, they may not have much to say when their children bring up theirs.

I didn’t know what to do with my anxiety struggles, so I just felt like something was wrong with me. Then, the anxiety simply increased. When we are not taught how to live anxiety-free, anxiety simply becomes a way of life.

The Need to Get Equipped to Overcome Anxiety

We need to cultivate environments in our marriages, families and communities to talk more about the anxiety problem and equip each other to overcome.

That is why I have taken my journey of walking through incredibly painful and quite often debilitating battles with anxiety, and chosen to teach others how they can walk free.

You too can take the battles you have gone through and help others. But are you will to get the equipping you need to overcome? 

You can get equipped to overcome anxiety in your own life. Get your copy of “I Will Not Fear” and join the I Will Not Fear – Online Training Course to gain insights and tools you need.

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