Confession: I’m a natural worrier.
Even as a little girl, I sometimes felt as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders.
I think part of this for me was being the oldest child in my family, and feeling super responsible for things that happened, whether or not they were fully in my control.
I’d play out different scenarios in my mind, most of them worst-case-scenarios, and then emotionally react to things that hadn’t even happened yet! It would go something like this:
“What if I fail the test?” Anxiety.
“What if he doesn’t like me?” Rejection.
“What if this health problem turns into something worse?” Fear.
Woah dang. Those are some pretty heavy emotional responses to hypothetical situations that HAVEN’T EVEN HAPPENED YET!
I know logically that this is silly.
I know spiritually that this is wrong. (Matthew 6:25)
Yet emotionally, it’s still a struggle.
But there’s good news! The silver lining in this dark worry-cloud is that there are ways to combat being a ‘worrier’. Let’s fight this together!
After all, I’d much rather be a ‘Warrior” than a “Worrier”!
I do NOT have to give in to the temptation to wave my white flag and surrender to the LIE that “this is a common ongoing struggle, so I guess I’ll be stuck worrying forever.”
The moment I decide that I can never have victory over my fears is the moment I’ve decided that God isn’t big enough for me.
So, without further ramblings, here are 5 ways to combat worry!
1.) Don’t overthink it.
This is a visual representation of what overthinking looks like.
Don’t do this.
2.) Seek the company of peaceful people.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20. Whether we admit it or not, we are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. It’s foolish to obsess and worry about things that are beyond our control, but it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy perspective when we are constantly surrounding ourselves with negativity and distress. Seek friends and older mentors who provide a healthy biblical perspective on difficult situations, and follow them as they follow Christ!
3.) Write it down.
It’s a lot easier to worry about something when it’s blown out of proportion in your own imagination. I find it incredibly helpful to externally process my internal concerns by writing them down, one by one, on a sheet of paper. Listing out my worries on a tangible piece of paper does 2 things for me: 1.) Gives me perspective. My worries look WAY less scary when they are out of my imagination and condensed onto a piece of paper. 2.) Helps me process. I can think through the issues at hand, recall the ways God has moved in my life in the past, and trust Him fully with my future.
Excessive worry is, at the core, a spiritual issue. We cannot claim to have peace in God’s perfect love while we are obsessing over our fears at the same time. That’s a total contradiction. God’s perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18)! I’ve read the bible from cover to cover, and have never found a single verse that says “keep worrying about things outside of your control- that’s a totally great idea!” It ain’t in there, y’all. Instead, we read the instruction that we should “… not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil 4:6)
So talk to God about it. He’s a great listener.
5.) Take care of your health.
This spiritual issue can become a physical issue as well. I’ve personally suffered from post-traumatic anxiety, experienced crippling anxiety attacks, and a weakened immune system as a result of worry.
I know firsthand how fear and worry can be spiritually and physically damaging.
Worry is NEVER worth the spiritual and physical repercussions of a lack of trust in God.
Take care of yourself, physically and spiritually. Breathe. Talk to God. Go for a walk in the sunshine. Take your vitamins. Eat clean and healthy. Pray with a friend. Drink lots of water. It’s amazing how much more equipped we are to combat worry and stress when we are spiritually and physically prepared!
I hope that these strategies are as helpful to you as they have been to me!
Are there any other helpful tips and tricks you’ve learned to combat the temptation to worry?
Please share them in the comments below!