I read in an educational article this week that statistics are booming for school students who are reporting feelings of severe anxiety. They are complaining to their teachers of headaches, stomach aches, dizziness, or simply stare at a blank page or act out. The root cause of this is fearfulness and anxiety, which makes it difficult to access short term memory (“I just can’t think straight”) or make smart decisions.
This isn’t only happening in the classroom, however! We all suffer from anxiety in today’s hectic, high-powered, high-stress world. So what can we do to combat this?
This year, I’ve adopted a theme verse for my classroom. It is Philippians 4:6-7:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests known unto God.”
I told my students that to boil this verse down and make it super easy to remember, our class motto would be this:
Before you get worked up enough to feel sick, Pray First!
Before you start talking to your friend or co-worker about a situation and end up spreading gossip, Pray First!
Before you turn to a habit, food, or substance to make you feel better, Pray First!
So much of our daily pain could be avoided if we could just learn this principle! It’s a great motto for my classroom, but I think it’s a great motto for life in general. Get in the habit of running to God first, and a whole lot of messes can be avoided completely.
Have a wonderful, peace-filled weekend!