In today’s modern world, anxiety is continuing to rise rapidly. According to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (February 2023), a staggering 50% of adults aged 18-24 reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression in 2023, as opposed to about a third of adults across all age groups. The survey also highlights that young adults are the demographic most prone to experiencing mental health symptoms.
As a member of Generation Z who has personally battled anxiety and depression, I want to share my experiences from a faith-based perspective. While it’s clear that modern factors like technology and social media play a role in exacerbating these issues, it’s essential to recognize that anxiety and depression have been part of the human experience for centuries. In this context, it’s worth exploring what the Bible, a timeless source of wisdom and guidance, has to say about these challenges.
Before we delve into these biblical insights, it’s crucial to acknowledge that mental health is a serious concern, and these tips are not a substitute for professional treatment. They are simply strategies that have personally helped me alleviate some of my anxiety and depression symptoms as a Christian.
“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)
Worship is a powerful means of connecting with the one true God. Hebrews 13 encourages us to offer a “sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Worship goes beyond words; it engages our hearts, minds, and souls. When I was at my lowest point, listening to worship music and praising God with the little strength I had was the main way that allowed me to heal. By acknowledging God’s name and expressing gratitude for His presence, worship allows us to draw closer to Him and find solace in His love and guidance.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
Prayer is a cornerstone of faith. Philippians 4 teaches us not to be anxious but to bring our concerns to God through prayer and supplication with grateful hearts. Fully surrendering our worries to the Almighty God brings immense peace and reassurance that transcends human understanding. Prayer is a channel for communicating with God, and I personally talk to God like I would to a close friend or father. When you fall to God’s feet, give Him your unfiltered thoughts and worries, and place your trust in Him, it can really liberate you from the stress and anxiety weighing your heart down.
3. Read the Word
“But he answered, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 (ESV)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
The Bible is often called the living Word of God, a source of solace, wisdom, and inspiration. In Matthew 4, Jesus himself emphasizes the importance of living by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Likewise, 2 Timothy 3 reminds us that all Scripture is divinely inspired and serves a purpose in each and every one of our lives. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened the Bible in the middle of a panic attack and the chapter or verses I read almost instantly replaced my anxiety with peace from the Spirit. When we engage with God’s Word, we find guidance, comfort, and a deeper understanding of His perfect plan for us.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20 (ESV)
Hebrews 10 conveys the value of fellowship among believers. Coming together in faith is more than just a gathering; it’s a way to encourage one another in love and good deeds. In a world that often isolates those facing anxiety and depression, fellowship provides much-needed community and support. It’s an opportunity to share experiences, seek guidance, and find comfort in the company of like-minded individuals who are also walking with Christ. I am always reminded of Matthew 18 when I have fellowship with my brothers and sisters as I know that God is present, and this brings me immense comfort.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” Exodus 20:8-10 (ESV)
Rest is essential not only for physical but also for mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In Matthew 11, Jesus invites those who labor and are burdened to find rest in Him. He promises a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. Resting on Sunday (the Sabbath), as commanded in Exodus 20, is a form of obedience to God and a means to recharge one’s spirit. As a busy consultant, I always tell my team that my Sundays are protected to keep the Sabbath day holy, and this has been a way to not only improve my mental health but also honor God and reflect His image.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
Isaiah 26 reminds us that perfect peace comes from trusting in the Lord. Trusting in God is an act of surrender, a recognition that we are not alone in our struggles. This trust can alleviate stress and anxiety, as we acknowledge that we are in His care and that He is in full control of our lives. I am always comforted when I put my full trust in God as I know He is faithful and His plans are always good, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18 (ESV)
Psalm 34 illustrates the compassionate nature of God. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them from their troubles. The Lord is especially near to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirits are crushed. When I turn to God not only in times of rejoicing but also in distress, He reminded me that I’m not alone in my struggles and that He is ready to answer my cries for help.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9 (ESV)
1 John 1 highlights the importance of repentance before God. Confession is not just an acknowledgment of our mistakes; it’s an act of humility and honesty before God. When we confess our sins, we open the door to His forgiveness and purification. This process of acknowledging our sinful nature and seeking God’s grace can be profoundly liberating and a source of relief from the burden of anxiety, guilt, and shame. It allows us to experience the transformative power of God’s love and mercy.
9. Rejoice & Give Thanks
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
1 Thessalonians 5 reminds us of the importance of rejoicing, praying unceasingly, and giving thanks in all circumstances. Rejoicing and thanksgiving are not merely expressions of joy but also a way to align ourselves with God’s will. Even in our difficult seasons, finding reasons to be grateful and rejoicing in the Lord can shift our focus away from anxiety and towards faith and trust.
10. Slow Down
“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2 (ESV)
Psalm 127 teaches us about the futility of excessive toil and the importance of rest. It’s a reminder that a relentless, anxious work ethic can be in vain. God provides rest as a gift to His beloved. I struggled and honestly still struggle with idolizing productivity, but slowing down this past year has helped alleviate a lot of my stress and anxiety. Taking time for proper rest and trusting in God’s provisions allows us to find comfort and rejuvenation in His care.
These tips have personally provided me with solace and relief from anxiety and depression, so I hope they can provide value to you in one way or another. These biblical principles encourage us to connect with our faith, find support in our spiritual community, and trust in God’s love and wisdom. The power of prayer, thanksgiving, and rest cannot be underestimated, and the act of confession and seeking help from others is a powerful step toward healing and overcoming the challenges of mental health. Slow down, find reasons to rejoice and give thanks, and remember that God is there to provide perfect peace and rest for your soul.