Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. – Corrie Ten Boom
I used to worry all the time. My worries were always over the safety and the happiness of my family. Two things I had no control over.
When children don’t feel safe or if they don’t believe the world is a safe place, they tend to worry. Worried children grow up to be worried adults.
Worry plays havoc on our mental, physical and emotional health. It steals our joy, dreams and peace of mind. It diminishes our love, faith and courage.
Worry is Driven by Fear
We fear not having enough money. We fear having too much debt. We worry about employment and we worry about being self-employed. We fear for our safety and we fear for the safety of others. We fear what we know and we fear the unknown.
Worry is a bad habit. It’s one that can be changed.
Over 40 years ago, Dr. Walter Calvert conducted a study on worry; it was funded by the National Science Foundation. The following statistics are from the study:
- 40 percent of the things we worry about never happen.
- Worry is a waste of time and energy.
- 30 percent of our worries concern the past.
- If you can learn from the past, then do. If you can’t, forget about it. Yesterday is over.
- 12 percent of our worries are needless.
It doesn’t make sense to worry about what somebody says or thinks about you.
Only 8 percent of what we worry about ever happens.
Of this percentage 4% of our worries that happen are out of our control.
We can’t change a thing about them. These worries may include our health, our children’s health, a natural disaster or a death of a family member or friend.
We have some, if not total control, over 4 percent of the things we worry about.
In these situations, we can take action and create the desired outcome we want to see happen. We can quit an addiction, get out of debt or seek out a counselor or coach.
How to Stop Worrying
Figure out how to take action on the 4% of the things that you worry about. Make the changes you can. Begin today.
Take 96% of your wasted time and energy and put it to good use. Invest it in positive thinking and activities.
When you are tempted to worry:
- Remember that you are loved.
Take a few minutes and think about at least three people who love you. Send each one a loving thought. Imagine each person smiling back at you. When you feel loved, you’re less likely to feel afraid.
- Establish an attitude of delight.
Take delight and joy in small things. Train yourself to get excited about the sun shining, birds singing and children laughing. The world is full of beauty. When you catch yourself worrying; refocus.
- Trust and keep going.
Trust that you’ll find your way. Trust that you’ll receive the answers you need. Trust that others will help you. Trust that you’ll be loved. Trust that everything will work out. Trust that it’s all in Divine Order.
- Reach out and touch someone.
Unplug from your electronics and make time for more face-to-face contact with family and friends. Invite someone to dinner. Have a conversation instead of texting. Offer a pat on the back, a hug and a kiss. Spend time with the people you normally worry about.
- Invest time in laughter and play.
Choose fun over worry. Create positive experiences for yourself and family. Get active outdoors. Take time to be silly. Participate in sports. Join a book or garden club. Watch comedy. It feels a lot better than worry and fear.
- Create a nightly ritual.
Spend time thinking about what you want to create in your life and conjure the feelings of having it before you fall asleep. Ask God to bless it. Then let it go. Don’t worry about how it’s going to happen.
- Soften your heart.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give someone else a break. Lighten up. Seek to understand. Be compassionate. Be gentle and kind. Love more. Worry less.
- Decide that “right now” is the greatest moment of your life.
Learn to be happy in the present moment. Stay out of the pain of the past. Don’t be derailed by a fear of the future. It only exists in your mind. Choose to make the best of every day.
- Know that there is an unlimited amount of love and good in the universe.
Learn to give and receive love freely. Become aware of it. Partake in it. Surround yourself with loving people. Think loving thoughts and speak loving words. Fill your life with love. Someone advised me yesterday to “be love; loving.”
- Plan a bold future.
Have faith. Pray. Turn off all forms of negative media. Most people are positive and want to help others. It’s time to let go of worry and fear and focus on a future filled with possibility, miracles and love.