“People get so in the habit of worry that if you save them from drowning and put them on a bank to dry in the sun with hot chocolate and muffins they wonder whether they are catching a cold.”
– John Jay Chapman
How do you feel when you think about your future? Are you filled with hope or your mind just quivers in fear and you’re worried? If you are like me, it would probably be fear and a little bit of hope. The cycle of worry and fear can drain even the best of us. We worry because we cannot accurately predict the future and for people that like being in control, it’s not the best feeling when you’re not absolutely sure about anything.
Worry used to be as natural as breathing for me. It would start with a thought, and then another thought and before I know what’s happening my mind is swirling in chaos. Constant worry occurs when you can’t just let go and you constantly roll over the same issues in your mind.
What Worry Is
Worry is like running on a treadmill, you put in so much effort but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Worry represents a lack of trust in God, in people and basically in everything. It can originate from a need to have everything predictable and for a child of God, it shows a lack of faith in God.
When you worry, you are unable to make the best use of your present as your mind is permanently occupied with things that may or may not happen. Prolonged and excessive worrying has been shown to cause physical health problems too; problems like high blood pressure, ulcers, a lack of appetite and weakened immune systems.
Your emotional and mental health will be affected too; a constant sense of impending doom, fear of criticism, viewing other people as threats to you and ruining relationships because of a lack of trust.
Break The Cycle
- Cast your cares on God, 1 Peter 5:6-7
Consider this, if you worried everyday about your height, would you become taller? NO. This sounds absurd but that’s how most of our worries are, we constantly turn our minds upside down worrying over what we have no control over. There’s a better solution – cast your cares on the person that has all the power in the world and the best part is that He is your Father.
Be humble enough to accept your limitations and release your worries and fears to God. Get on with the business of life and work hard at managing the things that you can actually control.
- Develop an attitude of faith
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. The best way to develop faith is to be totally immersed in the Word of God by using your fertile imagination to live in the Word as opposed to using it for worry. When the negative thoughts start popping up in your mind, speak the Word of God to disrupt the flow of negativity.
- Stop assuming and be more direct in your approach
I used to try to analyse what someone was thinking based on how they turned up their nose when I passed by them or the interesting tilt their necks had while we were discussing. This used to add to the burden on my mind but I have had peace since I stopped assuming.
- Become more engaged with the needs of people around you.
I sincerely believed that I had nothing to offer anyone because my life was not “perfect”; I used to shy away from opportunities because I just did not think I was good enough. But when I understood that I could never have all my **ducks in row, I stepped out of my shell of “perfection” and started searching for opportunities to serve and I found more than enough. A life of service makes you realise that there are more important things than some of the things you worry about.
- Reduce your exposure to negative stimulation
There are some people that enable worry and fear in you, it is best to reduce your exposure to them because some can’t be totally avoided (like family members or colleagues). Also, we need to be careful what take in from social media and other forms of media; some of what we take in endlessly from these sources fuel negative thoughts.
I am still a recovering worrier and sometimes I lapse into these thoughts again but the grace of God has been sufficient for me.
Do you ever have these thoughts that sink you deep into worry and fear? Please share with us how you’ve handled it.