Dave Arnott: How Anxiety Is Related to the Economy
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults ages 18 and older battle with anxiety every year in America.
Because anxiety is growing faster than GDP, Dave Arnott, host of the Christian Economist, calls all Christians to step into the core message in Philippians from the apostle Paul and “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV).
Anxiety is the body’s way of telling people that something is not right, often affecting work performance. This can clearly be seen through the astounding statistic of 12 million working days lost due to its stressful and sometimes debilitating effects.
“Everyone aligns their lives with something,” Arnott said, highlighting the importance for Christians to remember they always have hope because their “Captain is still on the bridge.” God is still and forever on the throne watching out for and holding the ones He loves even when the internal storm of anxiety rages on.
Arnott points out three areas of stress people need to be aware of, including a type of anxiety that is good to experience:
- No Stress
Sandwiched between two negative aspects of stress is eustress, which is a moderate and normal level that is beneficial to the individual. Because anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in people, Arnott emphasizes staying in this middle level for their mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
The values intertwined in Christianity along with the comforting promises of God’s Word promote less anxiety, along with the glossed-over truth that “most of the things we worry about don’t happen,” said Arnott.
Although anxiety is a pandemic in and of itself across the globe, it has the surprising ability to boost the economy because “anxiety mitigation will provide life-time work in schools, medicine, and the media,” said Arnott.
The decrease in the market value of goods and services produced and the uprise of anxiety might seem like comparing the race between the tortoise and the hare from the famous Aesop Fable.
However, when anxious hearts recognize the value of drawing near to their Creator and Sustainer, they see He will always produce outcomes for their good out of the plethora of emotions all people experience every day.