Anxiety 101: How to Handle Not Being Happy

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It’s been a while since I wrote a blog, so I might be a little rusty, but it’s back to school, and that means I should be writing regularly so keep an eye out each week for a new one. I’ve been getting some great support from people that have read these blogs, and I want to thank you for that! Without that support, I wouldn’t be doing it today. Now onto the main event…


So it’s the first week of classes for my senior year of college, and everything was going great: I had a great time being a RockStar orientation leader for the freshmen Welcome Week, I just got into a class that I was waitlisted for, and I was knocking things off of my to-do list like crazy. It was shaping up to be a great first week.

 

Then I had the first class for my chemical engineering lab.

I have not been that stressed-out about anything since the last time I asked a girl out. But even that is better, because at least I’m just stressing over whether or not I’d be denied.

animated-gif-stressed-outThis chemical engineering class had me confused as to what was actually happening.

  1. I wasn’t sure I was even in the right place.
  2. The professor didn’t explain things well.
  3. He had us work on problems that we didn’t know how to do.
  4. Every so often, the professor would mention something else that we as students needed to have completed before they could even let us into the lab.
  5. Did I mention that this class is five hours long?

By the end of the class, I had more questions than answers, a list of about ten things that I needed to do quickly, and I honestly couldn’t think straight.

I feel like this was a moment in my life that I experienced true anxiety, combined with fear, frustration, loss, and utter discombobulation. I was so stressed and I didn’t want to do anything afterwards. Luckily, my best friend text me and asked if I was going to Mass right after it.

I went to Mass that evening. Though it wasn’t what I wanted, it was exactly what I needed.

Responding to Anxiety 101

Being in the physical presence of the God that laid down His life for you and me has interesting effects on one’s mood most of the time. I’ve found this out over and over again.

Every time that I am feeling stressed, frustrated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, disgusted, or anxious; I feel at least somewhat better (usually I feel mostly better) after being in His presence. I immediately thanked my best friend for texting me, because it was their text (and the grace of God) that got me there.

  • I reflected on my thoughts and emotions from that Mass, trying to explain why I felt better. Here’s what I came up with:
  • I realized that this one class is not the most important thing in my life. Heaven is.
  • I knew that things were going to get better. It was the first day of that class, and the amount of information that I was receiving wasn’t going to be the norm.
  • I have been anxious before, and everything turned out to be okay. This time wasn’t going to be any different.
  • I am where I belong; as close to Jesus as I can be.

I’ve heard people say this before:

“God wouldn’t put you in a situation that you can’t handle.”

That’s nice to think when you’re having a tough time, but I don’t believe it’s true.

I believe that God intentionally puts us into situations that we can’t handle, but He does so for a reason: to ask for His help! God is a good Father who wants to help us, but He’s only going to do so when we ask for it. He wants to remind us of His infinite love, mercy, and peace.

I realized that going to Mass after this stressful day was exactly what I was supposed to do. I needed to feel this anxiety, this feeling of loss and hopeless, in order to come back to God with abandon, to give Him my worst, to trust in His plan for my life.

I hope that your weeks of school have been stressful, because that means that God is calling you home. Run to Him as He runs to you.

In Christ,

Matt Muhich

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A one-hand clapping UMD Chemical Engineering student from Eveleth, MN; I love playing Ultimate Frisbee, jamming to electronic music, and reading fiction novels. My favorite Saint is St. John Paul the Great (who I like to call St. John Paul the Beast) because of his Theology of the Body on Catholic sexuality. I am the second of five brothers and a proud cradle Catholic.

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