This guest column was written by Bob Goyer, Community Relations Director of Kingston Residence of Marion

What are you worried about? Everyone worries about something at one time or another in their life. Some people seem to worry about everything all the time. They never have any peace or rest from the worry or anxiety. Anxiety may affect twice as many older adults as depression, according to new research. Studies have shown that generalized anxiety is more common in the elderly, affecting 7% of seniors, than depression, which affects about 3% of seniors. Surprisingly, there is little research that has been done about this in the elderly.

I’m not a research study expert by any means, but just from my observation and experience, seniors tend to worry a lot. They worry about health, finances, family and more. When a person worries, it’s almost impossible to reason with them. You can explain why they should not be worried but they just can’t seem to not worry.

Worry and anxiety can affect a person’s life in many ways. Symptoms of anxiety in the elderly include:

  • Avoiding situations or social events that once were considered to be enjoyable.
  • Insomnia, trouble sleeping or sleeping more than normal.
  • Symptoms such as shortness of breath, trembling, or irregular heartbeat, stomach problems or headaches.

I’m also not a professional counselor. However, I have lived long enough and have experienced worry and anxiety for myself. I have some suggestions on how to reduce the worry and anxiety in your life. I find that the Bible has answers to many of life’s issues including worry. Allow me share some that I have found helpful. First of all, worrying accomplishes absolutely nothing. Worrying won’t help you solve a problem or bring about a solution, so why waste your time and energy on it?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. Matthew 6:27-29

Worrying is destructive to us in many ways. It becomes a mental burden that can even cause us to grow physically sick. Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12:25

Worrying is the opposite of trusting the Lord. The energy that we spend worrying can be put to much better use in prayer. Here’s a little formula to remember: “Worry replaced by Prayer equals Trust.” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds. Philippians 4:6-7

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

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