I’m a former worry maestro. Back in the old days, my husband would walk in the door 30 minutes late from a hunting trip and find me planning his funeral.
Thankfully, I’ve learned to go to God for help with my worries! If you’re a worrier, here are a few things that will help.
How to Stop Worrying
1. Pray with thanksgiving.
Paul tells us how to break free from worry in Philippians 4:6-7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Praying with thanksgiving is the main way I renew my mind when I’m worried. I’ve found, though, that it makes a difference how I pray with thanksgiving.
2. Focus on the goodness of God.
If you’ve tried praying with thanksgiving and it hasn’t worked, it could be because of the things you’re choosing to thank God for.
When my husband’s late from hunting, I don’t focus my prayers on him because that just reinforces the idea that I need him to have a good life. Here’s an example of that type of prayer:
Lord, please let Scott come home safe, and oh, by the way, thank you for keeping him alive and safe so far, and thank you that he has a reliable vehicle, and thank you that he’s with a friend so the friend will probably keep him awake when he’s driving.
Instead, I focus on God. This helps me see life from His perspective: Father, please bring Scott home safe. Thank you that you are all powerful and can keep him on the road if you choose. Thank you that you are sovereign. I can trust you no matter what happens. Thank you that you love me. Thank you that You are enough even if Scott dies.
Now you may think that last line is a little drastic. But it leads me to the next tip.
3. Accept the possibility that your worry may take place.
Worry has a way of pointing out our idols. Often, the things we worry about are the things we’re unwilling to give up.
In my experience, it’s impossible to stop worrying until I come to that place where I’m willing to live any sort of life for God – even a life where my worry comes true.
4. Find out if you can do anything about it.
Often there’s nothing you can do to prevent your worry from taking place. In those situations, you have two choices: accept it with a good attitude, or accept it with a bad attitude.
Admitting that you can’t do anything about it is necessary – because then you can focus your efforts on trusting God, rather than fixing a problem that can’t be fixed.
Here’s an example. My 21 year old son often does things I think are dangerous. (See left.) But he’s 21. It’s not my place to nag him.
Here’s my new rule that helps me use restraint: If he has a less than 10% chance of dying from whatever he’s doing, I don’t say anything!
If you struggle with worry, give these four steps a try. They’ll help even the most paranoid person (yours truly) stop worrying.
Image at the top of this post is courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net