Worry means to feel anxious or troubled over an actual or potential problem. From time to time, most of us get this feeling; we live in fear of bad things happening. It also wears us down by sucking out our emotional energy. However, we can live our lives without these negative feelings.
Why do we get this way?
Some of the reasons are that we believe:
- it will help us to avoid bad things;
- that we will find a solution to our problem;
- it is due diligence – that we are dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s;
- it is helping us to expect the unexpected; and
- that we are being responsible.
Newsflash: it is counterproductive to worry. It does us no good and it does not solve our problems.
How to stop worrying
Telling us not to, does not work and in some cases, it makes the feeling worse. Here are 5 ways we can stop worrying.
1. Caste our cares on the Lord.
1 Peter 5:7 says “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (NLT) God knows everything and He wants us to learn to trust Him. Psalm 55: 22 says “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (NIV) Worry sees the problem, but faith sees the God that has the solution.
2. Worry begins with a thought. We can train our minds to catch the negatives thoughts at onset.
We can choose what we think about. We can also expect on purpose good things to happen. It is the devil’s role to keep us from growing. As a result, we have to be very aggressive with him; it is warfare when it comes to our minds. This takes practice. If we cannot find anything else to think about to distract ourselves, we can always shift our focus to think about all our blessings and things that we are grateful for.
3. Create a specific time and place to worry – ‘our worry period’.
For example, our period can be every Monday at 6 am for 15 minutes in the privacy of our bedroom. During this time we can worry about absolutely anything under the sun
4. Keep a journal.
During the course of the day write down in the journal all the things that trigger our anxiety. Only address the list during the worry period.
5. Question why we are worrying by answering the following:
- how correct is the thought?
- how can the situation be assessed in a positive way?
- what are some possible outcomes?
- if our friend was in our position, what would we tell them?