Worry is a normal, everyday occurrence. It’s just part of being human, right? My friends, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Worry is not essential to the human experience, and I would suggest that it is contrary to the life that we are called to live.
Worry stems from a feeling of insecurity. When we don’t feel secure, we begin to worry about what could happen next and how we will survive the unspeakable horrors that our minds create. While it is possible to channel our worries into positive actions, more oft than not we allow ourselves to worry and worry and worry until our pretty little heads fall right off, or close enough.
I’m right there with you all. I get into my worries and sometimes it’s hard to kick them out, but I’ve come to learn that this whole worry game is not what God has called us to and in fact, it prevents us from living the full and wonderful life He has for us. So I’m writing this post not only in hopes that it might help some of you, but also to remind myself that worry has no place in my life.
How to Dismiss Your Worries
When worry comes a-knockin’, the first step is to let that worry know that it has no place in your life and in your mind. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if that worry is really needed, or if its sole purpose is to knock you down:
- Will worry change the numbers in your budget? If you worry hard enough will you add an extra zero to your paycheck? Does your bank provide cash back for the hours you spend worrying about your account balance?
- Will worry make you or anyone else feel better? Does worry heal upset tummies? Can worry shrink cancer? Will worry make the test results better?
- Will worry make that old car new again? Does worry prevent hail damage to your roof? Can worry pay for your kid’s school clothes?
And the ultimate question to help determine if your worry is warranted: If you die in your sleep tonight, will whatever you’re worrying about matter? So much of what we allow to take up space in our minds and hearts is worry over things that really don’t matter in the long run. Be honest with yourself and decide if it’s worth the time and energy to worry about such things, or if you have something better you could be doing.
Channeling Your Worries
Now, some of you might be thinking, “But Amie, my worries are legit. I don’t know how I’m going to feed my kids tomorrow!” I will concede that there are some situations that are truly worrisome. There are some things that must be worked out. This is where you can take that negative worry energy and channel it into positive action-based thinking.
When we worry we consider all the things that could possibly go wrong and all the ramifications of every action. We are constantly focused on the negatives, often to the point that we stop taking action. Let your worries fuel you towards the actions necessary to conquer the situation in front of you.
Every time you begin to worry, focus in on the problem and what you need to do to fix it. Who can help you? What organizations exist to assist in this situation? (There’s some group for every possible need, trust me.) What can I plan to do about this? What steps can I take right now? Write out your budget and look at where every dollar and cent goes and what you might be able to live without or put off. Look up food banks or pantries in your area. Call your church and ask your minister for recommendations of services in your area. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there and mull over the problem again and again; rather, take that negative energy and channel it into positive action.
Anxiety stems from the basic human emotion of fear, fear that we might not survive something. For a lot of people, this anxiety is brewed in their life because they are lacking stability and security. This lack of security can be internal or external. The internal is much harder to conquer, but reaps incredible rewards.
An internal lack of security comes from a sense that I am some how not good enough. I’m not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, fast enough, athletic enough, graceful enough, etc. The root of the problem here is that somewhere along the line someone told you that you weren’t enough and you have believed them ever since.
Let me tell you brothers and sisters, you are more than enough exactly as you are right now. I know that so many of you won’t believe me, but I promise, you are enough. I can’t make you believe me, but if you take the time to focus on how good you really are, eventually you might believe yourself.
Now, the external sources of instability are much simpler to deal with, though most people don’t want to do it. If there is a person, place, or situation in your life that makes you feel a lack of stability, change it. If some one or thing makes you worry all the time, fix it. We have fallen into this cultural mindset that whatever our place in life, that’s it, there’s nothing we can do about it. We need to break that mold and learn to have some autonomy and responsibility for our lives. If you don’t like your life, you can change it, the only one stopping you is yourself. I’m not saying it’ll be easy or fun, but it’s your choice to either tackle the problem, or let that sense of insecurity and constant worry run, and possibly ruin, your life.
One more thing my lovelies, these are great tips for dealing with everyday worries that seem to pop up, but for some people, anxiety has gained such a strong foothold, that you may need a little extra help to heal and break that anxious cycle. If your worries and anxieties are so strong that they are causing trouble for your physical health or are significantly impacting your relationships or everyday functioning, seek out the help of a qualified therapist. We all need help sometimes, and I want so much more for you than a life full of anxiety. Check out the AAMFT’s therapist locator to find a therapist near you to help you work through these challenging times.
I wish you all happiness and joy today and every day!