Do you have a worry habit? Many of us feel as if we worry too much, and we’d like to stop worrying. But it’s hard to just turn off the triggers that cause us to feel anxious. However, God can help you learn how to stop worrying and trust him more.
Some people worry more than others. They may worry about only one thing at a time or several things at a time. You may be overly concerned with your health, finances, relationships, self-esteem, politics, world events, or more. Even if you feel like you are naturally prone to be anxious based on your personality, you can overcome your tendencies toward worrying.
Other people may not struggle with worrying every day but become overwhelmed by it when traumatic events occur. Experiencing anxiety and worry when your world is turned upside down by loss is normal. But to keep it from taking over your life, you can look for help from a Christian counselor. Counseling will help you uncover the root issues behind your worries so you can handle them in healthier ways.
Why you need to stop worrying.
It’s self-evident that worrying isn’t good for us. You probably know that worry hasn’t ever boosted your happiness or improved your sense of self-worth. But did you know that worry can cost you more than just your peace of mind?
When your brain is in a state of worry, it’s on high alert against either a real or perceived threat. In this high-alert stage, your brain tells your body to produce hormones that help you take flight, freeze, or fight like you would if a grizzly bear approached you. You need these stress hormones to help you if a real bear is standing in front of you. But if you have a flood of stress hormones day after day without releasing it, your physical health can be affected in negative ways.
Unprocessed worry and stress wreak havoc on your body. Stress can disrupt your sleep, reduce your concentration and short-term memory, cause gastrointestinal upset and skin problems, make your heart race, and lead to chronic diseases. Worrying for long periods can shorten your life span.
It also destroys your peace of mind and creates many emotional problems. However, a qualified counselor can help you learn how to give your body and mind a break from the stress hormones caused by excessive worrying.
God wants you to stop worrying.
Did you know that God cares about how much you worry? He cares about all your thoughts and feelings. He knows the desires of your heart and wants you to draw close to him. God wants you to learn to trust him more and focus your thoughts on things within your control.
When you learn to stop worrying, you can have victory in Christ. In the spiritual battle you face every day, Satan tries to hold you down with fear, anxiety, and doubt. He knows that if he can distract you with worry, you can’t reach your full potential for all that God has planned for you. But when, by God’s power, you stop worrying, you can have victory.
God will supply all the strength, courage, and power you need to overcome worry. He knows your weaknesses, and he knows you cannot overcome worry on your own. But by asking Jesus to help you when you are worried, you will learn that you aren’t on your own in the battle you are facing. A caring Christian counselor can help you develop rhythms to defeat worry and trust in God more each day.
Four tips for how to stop worrying.
When you set out to figure out how to stop worrying, it’s essential to have a plan in place. Satan will draw you away from the truth over and over unless you stick to the plan God wants you to use. These four tips will help you stay on track as you put your worries aside.
Jesus knows how it feels to deal with a big worry. The night before he died, he prayed so fervently that he would not need to be crucified that drops of blood broke out on his forehead (Luke 22:42). But he surrendered right at that moment by saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt. 26:39)
Like Jesus, you can surrender your worries to God in prayer. Every day, tell him exactly what is bothering you. Use your hands to place your worries into his hands, releasing them to him. You can do this as many times as necessary, and pray that God will give you His peace in return.
Take one day at a time.
Many of us worry about future events that may or may not occur. But the time we spend worrying about the future could be spent on things that don’t steal our joy. You can take steps to stay in the moment and concern yourself only with one 24-hour period, as Jesus suggests in Matthew 6:34.
Steps you can take include practicing mindfulness by intentionally engaging your five senses, keeping a gratitude journal, and singing praise songs to God. By using these methods when you are tempted to worry, you will guard your heart against more anxiety.
Practice Christian meditation.
Worry is a cycle of repeating things in your mind, making deep grooves in your neural pathways. But you can reprogram your repetitive thoughts about worrisome things by meditating on God’s Word. When you are worried, simply slow down and focus your mind on the truth of God’s Word, letting it replace the lies you are tempted to believe.
Here are some key verses on which you can meditate when worry tempts you:
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. – Deut. 31:8
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matt. 6:34
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
Get more from these verses by putting them on notecards or sticky notes and viewing them several times per day. Every time you see them, you’ll have a positive channel for rerouting your thoughts.
Make Scripture declarations.
You can use Scripture to tell yourself the truth about the lies that cause you to worry. When we speak the truths that are in God’s Word, Satan loses his grip over us, and God helps us overcome them.
Let’s use declaration examples from the verses above:
“The Lord is going before me today. He will not leave or forget me; he is always with me. I choose not to be afraid or worried, but trust him instead.”
“I only need to concern myself with today. God will take care of tomorrow.”
“I will choose to pray and ask God for what I need, always giving thanks instead of worrying.”
More help for worry.
Do you still feel like worry has a grip on you? A Christian counselor can help you break free from its grip. Your counselor will offer additional guidance in identifying your unique triggers so you can overcome them with God’s help. With a counselor’s assistance, you can train your mind to stop worrying and learn to trust God more.
“Prayer”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Misty Forest”, Courtesy of Clement M., Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Forest”, Courtesy of Johannes Plenio, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Forest Road”, Courtesy of Elke Karin Lugert, Unsplash.com, CC0 License