Tips for Combating Worry
Do you find yourself among the millions of Americans who lie awake at night? Do you get caught up in the furry when a problem arises? Does the excitement make your gut turn inside out? Perhaps you are even among the millions in our society who need sleep aids and antidepressants just to make it through the day. Perhaps these worries are grounded in circumstance or just randomly flouting around in your head. Whatever the case may be there is practical actions that one can take to control the worrying mind.
The Bible has words of wisdom about worry. The book of Matthew says, “who among you can ad one hour to your life by worrying (Matt.6: 27)?” This is such a deep truth. Worrying and fretting really changes nothing. Worrying is unproductive and usually accomplishes absolutely nothing. Tell me really, the last time that you were really worried about something, did your creativity spike?
Worrying is a centuries old problem. Perhaps is stems from the fact that we are mere humans or perhaps from the fact that life it self is ever so fragile. Nevertheless, worry is a pattern of thought that we must learn to control before it begins to control us.
Paul says that we must hold every thought captive to the gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). I believe one of the many negative thoughts that Paul was addressing was that of worry. Worry is a habit of thought that we must retrain our brains not to think. One does this through actions.
One action would be to literally replace each negative though with a positive one. A little healthy daydreaming does this. Picture your self walking across the stage rather than falling off of it. On the other hand perhaps you have too much time to daydream and it causes you to worry. Fill this time with a good book; I would not suggest a psycho thriller for this exercise. I have found, however, that in certain circumstance a good action suspense movie can relieve situational stress and worry.
Another technique that was handed down to me along time ago is one of my favorites. It is called the worry box. One simply makes up a box like you would see at the election polls, only smaller. I supposed some of you might need a bigger box. Beside the box you will need a pad of paper and a pen. Then you need to block out one hour per week on your calendar. Just one hour. Each time you find yourself worrying, you simply write your worry down and put it in the box. When you put the worry in the box you are no longer allotted time on that day to worry. Your worry time has been scheduled for a future date. When that appointment with your worry arrives, make your self a cup of coffee, perhaps a soda and slice of cake, get comfy, put up your feet and worry. For one hour you read the notes you have made in the box. Most people find that it does not take that long. Most of the silly things we worry about never come to pass. One really only has to do this once or twice and your brain will get the hang of letting the worry go.
Another important technique to have is the list. Many of us do our worst worrying at night and this robs our sleep. Some of this isn’t needless worry, we are simply very busy and afraid we will forget something. Keep a note pad by your bed, and when your brain won’t let you sleep; write down what you think you might forget. Eventually your list will be complete and you can relax.
Aside from these actions it is also helpful to play relaxing music during the day and in the car. If you are playing angry rock or racy classical, it may actually ad to your stress level. Watch your diet and caffeine intake. Perhaps keep an aromatherapy machine in your home or office, or even a nice lavender lotion will do the trick. With these simple techniques and some new habits worry need not take up your whole day. Eventually your new habits will become so natural that you may find yourself humming a tune during that long commute home.