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Doing Life Together

traveler-1556516_1280Why are we so anxious these days?Anxiety is the number one diagnosed mental health disorder in the world. In America, over 40 million of us have anxiety disorders.

A new poll recently came out by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that found Americans are more anxious today than a year ago, And the group that has increased anxiety the most is baby boomers. However, millennials remain the most anxious group.

According to the poll, one of the biggest worries of Millennials is paying their bills. One possible reason fo this is that so many have debt from educational loans. And many carry no health insurance which means medical bills can add up. But millennials aren’t the only generation to worry about finances –finances top the list for everyone as do health and safety concerns.  Of less concern, but still on the list, were worries about relationships and politics.

Professor Drew Ramsey, MD, at Columbia offers a reason regarding our increased anxiety. He thinks that as we become more polarized, more uncivilized and vocal about our complaints, our behavior has led to more anxiety. Given our current political climate, this makes sense. When people can’t even talk to one another about their differences, something is wrong.

The poll also found that women are more anxious than men; people of color are more anxious than whites; and people with Medicaid were more anxious than those with private health insurance.

A bright spot in the poll was that more Americans feel mental health has become less stigma today than years before. This hopefully means more people will reach out for help. You don’t have to live with on-going anxiety.

To be anxious about nothing seems like a tall order, but is a biblical instruction.  God is in control and we are responsible for our reactions to anxiety provoking things. God promises peace, reassurance of His care for us, and to walk us through difficulty. So do what you can to reduce anxiety. Then trust God for the rest.

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