I read somewhere years ago that 85% of what we worry about never happens! And what does happen you will be able to handle better than expected.
When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened. Winston Churchill
Worry is feeling uneasy or being overly concerned about a situation. Excessive worry puts your mind in overdrive and you constantly focus on what may happen. Excessive worriers react intensely to stressful triggers, and even thinking about the situation can lead to great anxiety. When we are worrying, we are in the midst of repetitive thinking that is non-productive. People who are analytical tend to worry more because they are trying to figure out a solution to their problem.
Everyone has normal stress and demands, but when worries and anxieties become chronic; the stress response can be triggered. The stress response is known as “flight or fight,” and causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These stress hormones can trigger health problems such as dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, irritability, headaches, shortness of breath, and muscle tension. The outpouring of stress hormones can lead to a suppressed immune system, short-term memory loss, and heart attack. When we worry our bodies respond the same way it would react to physical danger. Your body will tense up as you prepare for danger and this can turn into aches and pains such as headaches and back pain.
Worry is a waste of time, and it drains us of energy. Why do we worry then? We believe that all our worrying will help somehow. We believe that if we worry enough we might prevent bad things from happening.
If we are worrying, we are not trusting God.
Worry leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to fear. Worry can also make you more prone to depression. Worry disturbs your peace and it becomes more difficult to concentrate when worried.
You can rewire your brain to stop worrying by focusing on the following:
1. When a worrisome thought enters your mind, immediately take that thought captive to Christ. Ask God to help you to stop repeatedly thinking about the problem and ask for His wisdom. Trust God and take your concerns to Him instead of worrying. It is okay to have concerns about things, but take them to God instead of mulling over them in your mind.
Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
2. Become thankful. Be thankful for the things that you do have, and do not dwell on circumstances out of your control. Think on the good things in your life.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
3. Focus on one day at a time. Stop projecting what may happen tomorrow. God’s grace is sufficient for the day, He does not give us grace for days and weeks ahead. Remember most of what we worry about never happens.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious or itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34
4. Trust God with your life and with your loved ones, even when you do not understand all what has taken place in your life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight before you. Proverbs 3:5-6
Worry in not productive and it can trigger many health ailments, including depression. There is always something to worry about, but worry does not change anything for the good. The energy that is expended on worrying could be used for more productive things. It is okay to be concerned over things in our lives, but when we begin to obsessively think about the issues; we are worrying-talk to God instead about your concerns and leave the worries with the One who can do something about them.
Are you a chronic worrier? What action steps can you take today to reduce your worrying?