Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25)
Worry is infectious. It begins as a little mental itch and grows within us like a cough that turns into bronchitis. Some worry is healthy. If you see a tiger in the jungle, it is good to worry, because it could be the difference between life and death. But most of our worry isn’t life threatening. Learning to evaluate the difference between necessary and unnecessary worry is vital to a happy and fulfilling life.
Tim Denning faces the issues of worry in his article, “Advice from a 33-Year-Old Who Wants You to Stop Worrying so Much.” Denning challenges his readers, “If today was the last day of your life and you were going to be buried in a casket tomorrow, how much of what you are currently worrying about would no longer matter?” It is a rather graphic question, but makes one think about what a serious concern is.
To overcome our own preoccupation with worry, he challenges us to focus on other considerations. First, he challenges us to “Think about someone who is facing real problems.” This activity helps us put our concerns into perspective. Then, “Pay attention to your well- being.” Worry takes an emotional and physical toll. Focusing on self-care helps us consider if our worry is beneficial or destructive. While he offered a longer number of recommendations, I would like to conclude with “Learn to give now otherwise you never will.” Caring for others helps take the focus off your worrying, which helps provide perspective.
If your worry is legitimate, determine whether you can address it and bring positive closure, or if it is beyond your control. If you can bring closure, develop a plan, seek helpful assistance, and work the plan. Even the act of working at it can bring release from the stress. When we cannot control the situation, let it go. Now, whether you have a level of control or not, it is vitally important to prayerfully hand your situation over to God. Through these actions, perspective is reached, anxiety is reduced, and worry is managed. Give it a try, it is better than wallowing in the worry.