How to Worry-less When You’re Worry-full
Everyone has their way of coping with worry. The underlining cause of concern is fear. Fear can be crimpling. Some people eat more indulgent foods, some people stop eating altogether, and others might sleep for 12 hours straight. I have done all of these before, and I can tell you, it’s not healthy, but I can also tell you that I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I have it all together. What I can and will do is share with you what you can do instead of worrying because it’s not about being perfect and having your stuff together; it’s about taking care of yourself. Worrying doesn’t do anyone any good.
Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it never gets you anywhere.Erma Bombeck
Whatever reason you’re worrying, either you’re waiting on a doctor’s health diagnosis or a test score, or you are worried for your child’s future. Here are a few things I’ve done that have helped me to worry less. Some of these helped a lot, and others just were a good distraction. I hope at least one of these will help you today.
Of course, I had to start with a bang. I’m not going to hide that I am a practicing Christian and use prayer as my primary power source to defeat worry. Not that I don’t try to pray every single day, but life can get so busy sometimes that I feel like I have the same prayer memorized. It’s hard to find quality time in prayer with the Lord, but it’s so funny how when something happens in my life that brings me crashing down, I go running to the Lord in prayer. I’m sure God is happy to hear from me in those times when I’m in desperation. I wish we didn’t have to have quality prayer only when filled with worry and fear. Either way, prayer is my primary resource to combat anxiety. Some people don’t know how to start a prayer; God tells us how to pray in the Bible. He says we should address God as our Heavenly Father. Even though my Earthly father is miles away from me, I’m happy to know that I have a Heavenly Father who cares for me and is always there for me, even in times when it doesn’t feel like He is there. Knowing that God loves me and provides for me helps calm my nerves and almost always makes me feel better. Pray for God to do His will; He is good. If I could stop here, I would, but I have a few other tricks up my sleeve that help me in times of anxiety and worry.
Yeah, sometimes a good old fashion distraction is all you need to stop worrying for a moment. Watch Netflix, scroll on your phone, talk to your husband, take a shower, read a book, walk your dog, play with your baby, etc. Anything other than sit and worry. Here is a list of things you can do instead of worry:
- Go to the pool or beach
- Go to a park or playground
- Watch a movie
- Take a bubble bath
- Work out
- Take a nap
- Do your nails
- Create an at-home spa experience
- Organize your closet
- Read the Bible.
Set a Timer
I know this is going to sound super weird, but for me, it’s efficient. I used to be the girl who would drop everything and worry. Something would happen, and I would be an unreliable wife, mother, employee, friend, and daughter. Now I am much more in control of my emotions. I change what I can and let go of those things I can’t change. Whenever I’m worried, I set a time of day to worry. If I’m at work all day, I tell myself, “I’m going to worry about this and cry and pray and do whatever I want to do for 30 minutes during my lunch break in my car”. That way, I don’t spend all my time at work excusing myself to go ugly cry in the bathroom all morning. Not only do people don’t need to know your business, but they also won’t be able to do anything to help anyway. Also, be careful who you confide in with your problems. Think in your mind,” who can I talk about this issue with?” Then set a time of day or week to speak with that person.
Prepare For the Worse, Expect the Best
Sometimes just knowing that you have done everything you possibly could to keep you and your family safe is the best thing you can do, and leave the rest to God. Sometimes people worry about things that haven’t happened yet or possibly will never happen. Since I’m not a future teller, all I can do is stay prepared for the worst-case scenario by physically being prepared and mentally getting prepared. For example, there have been new variants of diseases spreading in the area where I live in Florida. Instead of worrying (which won’t do anything for me), I can protect my family and do the best we can. Hopefully, knowing you did your best will give you peace of mind.
I want to end this with a bit of a story from the Bible. At age 12, Jesus wandered off from His parents to visit the temple in Jerusalem. Three days later, His mom Mary found Him in the temple because that’s where she believed He would be. Her intuition was correct; she saw Him learning from the teachers. When Mary asked Jesus why He did not stay by her side, He said, “Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what He was saying to them. Luke 2: 49-50. Sometimes in life, we grow worried about something; in Mary’s case, she had lost her son Jesus for three days. I love His response, though; He says: “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”; this reminds me that no matter what you’re worried about, God is in control, and just like Jesus was in good hands being in the temple, we are also in good hands being in God’s hands. So let go, and let God.
Thank you for reading till the very end. I love you guys. If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure you give it a like, it helps motivate me to keep writing. Also, please consider subscribing to my blog if you’d like to stay on top of more from me.
-with love, Amanda