How many of you reading this thinks or feels that your life would be better if you worry a lot more? I bet none. Whether you know worry as an occasional visitor or a constant companion, whether you find it to be mildly uncomfortable or intensely painful, or whether you experience worry as a slight distraction or as a force that completely immobilizes you, we all would like to worry less (except for those only seem happy when they’re miserable), wouldn’t we?
I started sharing in my last post a few thoughts on what we can do to be free from worry. I would encourage you to read it up, if you haven’t. I shared 2 thoughts in that post and will share 3 more here.
1. Cast your cares upon God
2. Develop an attitude of gratitude
3. Plan and Work Hard
One of the best cures for worry is proper planning and work. Most worriers are lazy people. Consider the story about three servants who were given trust over their master's investments. The third servant, who hid his master's investment in the ground because of all his worries, was judged not only as "wicked," but also a "lazy" servant.
Planning for the future is fine. Most people worry because of lack of proper planning. A lady who is getting ready to be married but has not planned well is set to be worry ladened all through the week of her wedding. A man who has plans for his retirement will worry less than one who doesn’t. Proper planning delivers you from worry!
4. Live one day at a time
My advice is that you live in day-tight compartment. Take one day at a time. People living through a tremendous crisis soon learn that they have only enough energy to face today. 'One day at a time' becomes their motto.
Do unpleasant tasks now. Get them out of the way. Forgive other people quickly. Have some 'time out' for stillness and quietness each day. And live the serenity prayer: “God give me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Forget yesterday. Plan for tomorrow. But live today. “Yesterday is a cancelled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is cash!” Spend it well. Don’t let worries about tomorrow deny you the pleasures of today. Like my good friend said “ Some prepare so much for tomorrow’s rain that they forget to enjoy today’s sunshine.” Live one day at a time!
5. Use your mind. Be rational
It's important to develop coping strategies for worry - learning to think more realistically. Most anxiety is a distortion in the way we think. We would solve a lot of worry problems if we think more logically and creatively.
Astronaut Jim Lovell was in command of the Apollo 13 spacecraft when it experienced an explosion on its way to the moon. Their oxygen was almost gone; their electrical system was out, and their spaceship was plunging toward lunar orbit. They were destined to be lost in space, thousands of miles from home. During a press conference after their safe return, Lovell was asked; 'Were you worried?' and he gave an answer that surprised almost everyone in the room. 'No, not really.' He continued, 'Worry is a useless emotion. I was too busy fixing the problem to worry about it.' Use your mind!
Another idea is to limit the amount of time we allow ourselves to worry. I read about a guy who had so many things to worry about, he set aside one day each week in which to worry. As worries came to him, he wrote them down and put them in his worry box. Then, on Worry Wednesday he pulled out each worry and read it - and discovered that most of the things he was disturbed about had already settled themselves or had been taken care of in some other way.
Do you remember the Bobby McFerrin song "Don't Worry, Be Happy"? When it hit the top of the charts, it was criticized as being too simplistic and naive. However, it has some very important sentiments! Don’t Worry. Be Happy!