3 Ways to Worry Less and Live More
Have you ever noticed how the phrase “Don’t worry about it,” gets thrown around like a legitimate solution to serious dilemmas? Maybe that’s just a way to change the subject and escape.
“Why the long face Jim?” his friend Larry asked one day as they passed in the hallway at work. “You seem down.”
“Yes, I am, Larry. I just got fired, my house fell into a sink hole and wife ran away with a guy named Julio. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“Ah don’t worry about it Jim. I’m sure it will be fine.”
Sure, it will.
It’s easy to dismiss a problem when the consequences are of no consequence.
But what about when your business is taking a dive, your marriage is shaky or your health is threatened by a challenge that could alter your lifestyle? How do you accomplish the massive task of not worrying about problems that are legitimately worrisome?
Of course, volumes have been written on the subject but to save you years of research and therapy, here are few practical tools to help you worry less.
Face the Music
I’ll never forget hearing a popping sound under my car. It didn’t happen every time I drove it but every now and then, just when I least expected it, that sound would startle and worry me again. It sounded similar to a plastic bottle with the cap on it that expanded and popped when the temperature rose.
“It’s likely something in the transmission,” I thought to myself. I didn’t have the money for a transmission. What could I do? After weighing my options, my solution was to not look at it. “I’ll just drive the car and eventually it will go away,” I thought to myself. Not a good plan.
Finally, out of frustration, I climbed under the car to see if I could find anything amiss and, as I did, I noticed a plastic bottle with a cap under the seat. I threw the bottle away. Mystery unraveled.
Of course, not all problems are solved that easily but some of them are. The first and most important step in overcoming any problem is to face it squarely. What is the real issue? Many situations are a maze of worrisome trouble when they are vague in your mind but much more manageable when the real issues are laid out in clear fashion.
Generate a Plan and Get with It
Once you have a clear understanding of the problem, make an action plan to attack it. What can you do to change the situation? Write it out. This is no time to be passive. Be aggressive. Get mad. You have nursed this thing long enough.
“But what good does it do to write it out you may ask?” Meg Selig, in her Psychology Today article “Thirteen Small Decisions That Will Ease Anxiety,” explains, “If you start to ruminate over a situation that you’ve already planned for, tell yourself, ‘Stop, I’ve already made a plan.'”
Why waste time rehashing something you’ve already hashed?
It’s hard to worry about a problem when you are busy about solving it. The issue with worry is, it uses mental energy that doesn’t produce a positive result. You feel much more alive and enthusiastic when you put that effort to work taking down the problem, even if it’s a tiny piece at a time.
Know When You’ve Done Enough
As Christians we are, obviously, not exempt from trouble but we have a great advantage. We are not left to figure out and solve problems on our own. Should we be diligent, make plans and execute everything in our power to solve a problem? Absolutely.
But faith allows you and I to leave the result to God who promises to bring about a result that is beyond human ability. And while it seems the mature approach is to continue striving for a solution, faith recognizes a place to stop and leave it all in the hands of a loving Father.
There is a time to do all you can and then there comes a time to hear the higher message recorded by the sons of Korah;
“Cease striving and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.
God has a way of unraveling the worst of messes. Even sinkholes, Julio and unemployment are no match for His genius. The real answer to worry is in giving your problem to someone who can handle it. But who would take it? Not your friends or even your family. And certainly not Larry.
Many people know that God can do anything, but they wonder if He really will. Worry vanishes when you understand that, in His perfect time and in a way you have yet to see, He will.
Matt Fore is the creator of a free video series called “The Worry Free Life.” that teaches biblical principles of living with less worry. You can find out more at Worry Free Life Videos. Matt is a Speaker, Entertainer and Comedy Magician who takes his unique style of comedy and sleight of hand wonder to conference, dinner and banquet events around the country.
Article originally posted on the Christian Leadership Alliance website.