It’s inevitable. Worry will hit you out of nowhere. Even if you’re basically not a worrier, life will often throw things in your path that will cause you stop and worry. Even if you KNOW that God has all things in His hands and you’re super great at handing Him your worries, sometimes you’re just not and worry sneaks in.
“Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Thank you Matthew 6:27 for reminding me that the obvious answer to this question is …
N O !!!!
Nothing good is added to our lives by worry! Worry is a struggle. It can make you feel like you’re being strangled; like it’s choking the very life right out of you. What does worry accomplish? It DOES have some side effects you need to stay aware of. In my best “commercial voice-over” voice, here ya go.
Worrying may cause sleepless nights, belly aches, constipation, diarrhea, frequent vomiting, big zits to appear smack dab in the middle of your face, overeating, under eating, sweaty palms, the shakes, an uncontrollable desire to incessantly text the one causing worry, smeared mascara, drippy down your face mascara, heart palpitations and an overall sense of doom.
Bad side effects or not, can we all admit there are times when it’s just hard to not get consumed by worry? I admit, I worry about things way more than I should. It could be caused by legitimate things…like the poor health of a loved one. Traveling on icy roads and your car has bad tires. Worry can be caused by things we have no control over…like decisions other people make. Regardless of how anyone else may deem our worry, in the moment the worry is very real for the worrier.
By no means, have I figured it all out. As I said, I DO worry about stuff way more than I should. I have, though, discovered some ways to not become consumed by worry when it hits me! So if I may, allow me to share a few ways to help you combat the worry…the legit and the not so legit.
- Distract yourself with something positive. What do you love to do? What are you good at? Maybe a good mindless Netflix binge would help. Find a good show that will make you laugh and forget about your worries. Turn on your favorite music and sing at the top of your lungs like nobody’s listening. Dance like nobody’s looking. Getting lost in a good book can also occupy your mind and help you forget the worrisome stuff. THE Good Book is an amazing choice here. The Bible is full of sweet advice to help ease your mind.
- Speaking of The Good Book, after you’ve picked it up and read some of it, you are sure to have found many, many verses that address your needs. Write these down. When I am in a period of deep soul worry or concern, I love to see scriptures in the places I look every day . So I’ll write verses ,such as Psalm 55:22 , on sticky notes. “Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” I’ll stick these to my bathroom mirror or my kitchen cabinets . Anywhere I know my eyes will fall during the day. This helps so much to get God’s encouragement into my heart where it belongs. The more my empty places are filled with God’s truths, the less space there will be for worry.
- Take a few minutes to just be by yourself and scream out loud. It’s OK! Cry! Stomp your feet !! Be mad at the fact that whatever it is you’re worrying about is taking up so much head space!! This release is strangely helpful.
- And that takes us right into the next thing. While you’re screaming and crying in your “by yourself place” , cry out to God. PRAY!! If you’re worried or anxious about something and you think it’s His fault, He already knows that! So you can scream your worries to Him. They won’t surprise Him. He’s not gonna love you less because of it. You can cry out to Him for help. He’ll be there. He’ll listen. 1Peter 5:7 reassures us with this “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” Let that sink in. God, the One who created the universe, CARES ABOUT YOU! So why do we worry in the first place?
- Do something kind for another person. Serving others turns our focus off ourselves and on to them. When your mind is consumed with worry and concern, shifting your focus to the needs of someone else will take your mind off that worry! And turning your worry into something good and kind is a win!
- Finally, TRUST GOD! This is the beat all , end all of how I cut out the worry. I trust that God has it. Whatever I’m worrying about, He’s on it, taking care of things in better ways than I ever could. Whoever I’m worrying about, He loves more. My self proclaimed life verse is Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Oh how this verse has gotten me through a ton of angst. I don’t have to understand why things are as they are. I just need to trust God. It’s a choice I make daily.
Worry, concern, anxiety…they’re all just one way the enemy of our souls tries to distract us from the Lover of our souls. If the enemy can cause our thoughts to stray from God and onto ourselves and our worries , he’s winning. Yuck! The devil is NOT the one I want winning anything in my life!!! So promise me something. The next time you’re consumed by worry, scream out to the devil “NOT TODAY!!” Then do one of the things I suggested (or one of your own fool proof worry stoppers) to stop the worry in it’s tracks.
I’m leaving you with a song today. It’s one you can sing at the top of your lungs as you let the worries and concerns consuming you melt away. I hope you’ll listen. And sing it out loud and strong. I’d also love to know YOUR “beat all, end all” ways of stopping worry in its tracks. If you’d like to share your thoughts in the comments, your way may be a huge help to someone reading this today!