Doesn't the word "mental health" feel like it needs to be sterilized? Why is that? Maybe it's because we've been taught to look at it as a stigma. In this episode of the podcast, we discuss how mental health is a real thing that doesn't have to feel so clinical. We get real about the mass number of people who deal with it. Also, we talk about some practical application as we lean into our struggles rather than running away.
- "National prevalence data indicate that nearly 40 million people in the United States (18%) experience an anxiety disorder in any given year." https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety
- "In addition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 13 globally suffers from anxiety. The WHO reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide with specific phobia, major depressive disorder and social phobia being the most common anxiety disorders." https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety
Anxiety - Persistent worry and fear of a situation or possible outcome
Depression - Overwhelming feeling of sadness, discouragement or hopelessness.
EMBRACE YOUR STRUGGLES
Instead of pushing off and avoiding your struggles, embrace them. Give them a big squeezy hug. Give them a high five. This idea doesn't mean that you're not going to hurt. It doesn't mean that you're going to be excited about it. But it can change the momentum and possibly stop what you're feeling in its tracks. Acknowledge that they're real.
Secondly, we have to live authentically. When we embrace our struggles, it requires us to become more vulnerable and particularly more authentic. Essentially we want to share with the world what we're feeling on the inside. This isn't an opportunity to lay out your dirty laundry, but it is a chance to share your heart. If you're hurting today, don't be afraid to tell someone. If you're having a great day, then live that out and tell someone. Authenticity is when our feelings on the inside and actions on the outside line up with one another.
Authenticity is when our feelings on the inside and actions on the outside line up with one another.
PUSH FOR COMMUNITY
We must push for community. I harp on this a lot, but it's because I've seen firsthand how lives can be changed through community. What you're carrying or what you're walking through doesn't make you less important or less valuable. It definitely doesn't make you less deserving of love. Your burden of mental health is real and you shouldn't be alone in it. We have to love better, people. Community can help carry us out of the pit we've been in, but that doesn't happen if we aren't loving one another, listening to one another, and walking with one another.
- Find/Connect to a Church - If you aren't connected to a church, then this is the first place I'd tell you to go. Lots of churches have support groups for people with anxiety, depression, grief and addiction. This would be an incredible way to start.
- Ask a Friend to Lunch - Ask a friend you trust to lunch. Tell them what you're feeling and let them ask you questions. I know how powerful this can be and it'll only cost you a couple of dollars and a little bit of awkwardness.
- Join the Anxious Pastor Community - If you don't know what this is, it's a group that does exactly what we've been talking about. They share their struggles, they pray for one another and they bring their stuff into the light where healing can start to take place. So if you'd like to join click this link. http://bit.ly/2HXR6zA
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