For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. –II Timothy 1:7
I have dealt before with the issue of worry, but it appears so prevalent in peoples’ lives that I felt compelled to address it again. I often talk with people who are battling some problem involving health or family and what I hear them saying is they cannot find any peace during this struggle. So difficult is the present situation that it is right before them, front and center, all of the time. They go to sleep thinking about the problem, and they sleep badly, and then they wake up with the worrisome situation staring them in the face. The ebb and flow of a new dilemma is exhausting. It robs us of sleep, appetite, happiness, and times we might otherwise have enjoyed. Sadly, we all will face such troubles.
There are no magic solutions to overcoming the stress of worry. Yet, there are strategies we can employ. Here are a few suggestions that might prove helpful as you face a new crisis.
First, take time to pray and meditate. As a Christian, spending time in prayer and meditation on God’s Word is my first response to a problem. I can only speak for myself, but this practice has brought great peace in the middle of personal storms I have faced. Resolve to spend time each day alone praying and seeking God’s help. The results may surprise you.
Secondly, consider what you can or cannot do about the situation. For example, if you are sick, listen to your doctor, gather information on treatment, and move toward a cure. If the problem involves a loved one, resolve to help the person in any way possible. If the problem involves another person’s behavior and it is causing personal anguish and pain in your life, try to accept the hard truth that we cannot change or control other peoples’ behavior. However, we can control our response. Someone has said, what we allow will continue. You may have hard decisions to make about your response to what is happening around you. However, beyond the hard choices may be wonderful peace.
Thirdly, practice deep breathing. I cannot explain how or why this helps, but it does. Just breathe deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth. This is especially helpful during meditation and prayer. Throughout the day, as you find yourself going back to the problem and reliving it in your mind, just breathe. Cease from practicing what you will say or how you will reply. Instead, just breathe slowly and deeply. When you realize you are worrying and getting all worked up again, just breathe instead. Again, the results may surprise you. There is no shame in giving yourself frequent breaks from the stress of worry.
Finally, stay active, exercise, eat healthy, and get adequate rest. You are only human. Without proper food and rest you will weaken. Exercise is a wonderful stress reliever and confidence builder. A brisk walk works wonders. And while you are at it, get out in the sunshine and breathe fresh air.
The problems of life will come; there is no stopping them. But how we respond is within our control. You are stronger than you think you are. I trust this is helpful.
So, how about you? How are you coping with worry? How can I pray for you today? Feel free to leave a comment, a prayer request, or just get something off your chest. Remember, you may comment anonymously in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.
God bless you.