Breaking the Worry Habit
By Sarah Hines Martin
1. Start your day with prayer.
Pray for wisdom and help to maintain an optimistic, positive, and confident attitude for the day. Remember Bible verses and hymns that speak of God's care. A Sunday school teacher had this motto, "talk to God before you talk to anyone else in the morning, and read your Bible before reading anything else."
2. Ask for help.
It's become a habit to pray immediately now when some problem occurs. I speak to the Lord as a friend, "Lord, we have a difficult one here. What am I going to do?" Get a proper perspective. A pastor asks his worrywart wife, "Is it a matter of life or death?" when she frets. Usually it's not, enabling her to let loose some of her anxiety.
3. Get a proper perspective.
A pastor asks his worrywart wife, "Is it a matter of life or death?" when she frets. Usually it's not enabling her to let loose some of her anxiety.
4. Give up the need to please everyone.
Many worries come from our fears that other people will criticize us. We need to make the best decision possible and let people think of us what they will. We can't stop people from gossiping, but we can stop worrying about it.
5. Recognize the futility of worrying.
Worry wastes time; it takes a toll on physical health; it makes us unpleasant companions; and it accomplishes nothing. We are commanded in Scripture to - NOT worry!
6. Use a God-bag.
Write concerns on slips of paper and place them into a paper bag. Agree with God that you are not going to worry about these situations for 30 days. When tempted to do so, remind yourself, "It's in the bag!" Notice at the end of the month how God has worked in those areas. Update the bag as needed.
7. Let go of perfectionistic expectations.
Perhaps the majority of our worries have come from expecting ourselves to make a perfect decision in every situation. If we make mistakes, we need to say, "What can I learn from this so that this will not happen again?"
8. Respect your feelings when a problem arises.
Are you feeling anxious? Scared? Discouraged? Overwhelmed? Upset? Terrified? Out of control? Angry? Treat your feelings with respect rather than saying to yourself, "I shouldn't feel this way." Then say, "I'm feeling upset, but I really believe that a solution can be found. I know my feeling panicky will not help. I will try to think clearly and trust the Lord."