How does Gen Z use faith to cope with anxiety?

 In Mental Health

It’s no secret that everyone deals with stress, yet Gen Zers may be especially susceptible to stress and the anxiety and uncertainty that comes along with it. Data gathered in our report Belonging: Reconnecting America’s Loneliest Generation, show more than half the young people we surveyed experience multiple stressors. Two-thirds of young people feel like they don’t have enough time to get everything done, and 56 percent say they have a hard time relaxing.

Yet, for some young people, engaging with religion and spirituality helps them soothe the stresses of life. Hear from young people who have shared their experiences as part of our research efforts about how religious and spiritual beliefs and practices can turn anxiety into peace and calm.

Just having it as something that I can talk to or pray to and know that there's something bigger than what's going on in my life. And just knowing that there's a plan for me and just kind of trusting and whatever's happening is happening for a reason. And just having that play in to my mental health being like, if I'm not doing the best and I go and talk to someone, I can also have my faith to talk to and rely on and like pray to, to kind of figure out what's going on.

Back then, since I really didn't have spirituality to lean on, it kind of made every situation worse for me, but now that I have that to lean on I still experience anxiety, but it doesn't necessarily make me feel as worried or as anxious if I were to go through something because I have something else to rely on, which is spirituality. And so, it's like knowing I have crystals in my pocket any time or go meditate any time. Knowing that I can do that and do those things, it really gives me like a sense of security if I were to go through something traumatic because I know I'll get through it because I've already gone through so much, but this time I have like a side kick, like the universe has my back and my spirituality is like my sidekick. So like, I'm like, yeah, we can, we can get through it.

When I used to be a Christian, I viewed everything that happened to me was because of God's ordination. Like every single thing, every single person that you meet, every, basically every single thing that happens around you, it has a purpose. And it's a good idea to just rely on God and to trust God, to trust his plan and what he has prepared for you every day. So even if negative things happen, like I would view it as like a lesson to be learned or perhaps like, it's like a message.

If I'm really sad, sometimes I’ll just like sit and pray and then it almost like makes me feel better ‘cause I know if I'm not ready to talk to like a person in real life about my problems, I can just like explain them to God for me personally. And that's almost like a weight off my shoulders. And then even if I just go to church typically in church, I'm not thinking about my other problems. And so it's almost just like an hour of escape for your mind, to me.

Photo by Stefan Spassov

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