Stressed? Why the Rosary is a Solution for Anxiety and Distress

MotherMary

It seems almost a cliché at this point, but, the words anxiety and young adult seem to go hand-in-hand. Stress, anxiety and depression have always been a reality of all human history. Yet, studies show that the level of individuals reporting symptoms has risen recently. The debate over the source of symptoms can be an endless one. What is definitive is a solution: the rosary.

Cue the eye rolls from the secular crowd – because that certainly would have been me 5 years ago. Hear me out. The Rosary and veneration of Mary capture the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. Yet, it roots it to something far deeper: the celebration and devotion to our Mother and the living embodiment of perfect faith.

 

Here are just a few instances of the value of the Rosary beyond the obvious (and most important) spiritual reasons:

 

  • Captures the physical and psychological benefits of meditation but roots it in something far deeper.

Make no mistake, mindfulness practices and meditation has shown to be effective. Along with my prayers, I practice it and couldn’t imagine managing my stress without it. But I also know that if not grounded in a deeper purpose, meditation can become a discarded habit. Trust me, I’ve been there too.

Habits are hard to form and are even easier to break. Devotion to the Holy Mother is not something I’m willing to discard. That has made the practice easier to make routine.

Classic recitation of the Rosary – 50 Hail Mary’s, 5 Lord’s Prayers and 5 Glory Bes – force one to make a conscious effort to sit and be present. It encourages us to slow down from the hectic pace of everyday life. Finally, it celebrates gratitude that goes beyond ourselves and to our Holy Mother.

Sounds like the classic benefits of mindfulness amplified.

rosary-beads

  • Perfect Remedy for Anxiety, ADHD and Related Conditions

I’ve lived with ADHD my entire life and it has been a battle trying to accept that. Clouded by the general stigma that has persisted that ADHD is an excuse for the lazy,  I never took care to treat it. I’ve since made efforts at care through daily habits and medical treatment. Yet I have to say: nothing centers and focuses me like the Rosary.

Having the opportunity to be quiet and focus on a single idea is a rare treat. My time spent with Mother Mary during the recitation of the Rosary is a reminder of the focus that is possible. Particularly, if gazed at objects and persons worthy of our attention.

I have heard similar stories from friends who have various anxiety disorders. Getting our brains to slow down in this fast-paced world filled with distractions is a rarity. Time spent with Mother Mary is a clear remedy.

  • Solace in Tragedy

Suffering and pain are mysteries which have confounded the spiritual life for millennia. The Church’s best have offered rationales and theories. But, it is a question we will not have a clear answer for until we are one with our creator. Despite the existence of such pain, God offers us tools to cope and there are few better than the Rosary.

My father passed away in 2017. At the same time, my mother lay bed-ridden in a hospital after a grueling surgery. It was a stressful and harrowing time for our family… to say the least. There were various methods of coping. Yet, I found no greater peace than the times I sat down amid the chaos to pray the rosary.

The spiritual gifts and wisdom I received in those moments were immeasurable. Stress and chaos were bound to rear their heads shortly after concluding prayer. But I had my time with the Holy Mother and it allowed me to bring some order and comfort to an otherwise chaotic time. I would not have gotten through this event without it.

I implore you, if you haven’t already, to consider a similar practice when facing your own tragedy.

 

  • Let us know of your own experiences with the Rosary and how it has helped your spiritual and earthly lives.

 

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