… Absolutely nothing, right?
For the millions of people wrestling with anxiety right now, that’s our honest answer.
Some of us deal with crippling anxiety disorders that keep us locked in a house or in the corners of our minds. Others of us face what is known as GAD, or “General Anxiety Disorder”.
And then there’s a new group of anxiety-ridden people who have COVID-19 to thank for their new found mental health issue.
So, is there anything good that can come from anxiety? Believe it or not, there actually is:
1 • It just might save your life.
What can seem disabling can save your life through the fight or flight syndrome.
Approached by a stranger in a back alley, anxiety can quicken your reflexes or your defense mechanisms. No need to put on a cape and assume you’re the next superhero, but in your time of need it proves to be a good thing.
2 • It shows what you value.
Think your life is passionless and without purpose? Anxiety about your kids or about a job interview reveals your true heart.
You obviously care about your kids. Apparently you want this new job. Anxiety quickens your heart to show what matters.
So, maybe the follow up question to your anxiety should be: “Should I care about this?”
Kids and jobs are a definite yes. My being anxious about us being out of coffee? That’s debatable.
3 • It makes you a good friend.
Now granted, it can make you exhausting to others if you are constantly talking about your fear of spiders and clowns, but when you have anxiety about things you can have empathy for people who share your struggle.
You know what it’s like to struggle with anxiety, so you can listen with understanding rather than just waiting to speak.
4 • It can make you a good leader.
Anxiety in leadership could cause you to freeze up and make no decisions for fear of an outcome, or it could cause you to carefully weigh all the possible scenarios.
Use a team of people to help you determine when it’s time to hit the send button on your idea. Otherwise, you may suffer from analysis paralysis.
5 • It can make you run to God.
When we think we’ve got the world by a string, then we assume we are in God’s seat.
When we realize that we have little control, we tend to run towards the one who is in control. Use your momentary crisis or your constant fears to run towards the One who loves you.
Look at how one of Jesus’ closest friends described it:
“If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in his good time he will lift you up. “Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, TLB)
So, the next time you are cursing your existence because of your worries… Try, instead, leaning into the positive side of them.
It might save your life, it might help you lead, but at best, it can lead you into the arms of Jesus.