As we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, some of you may not know that he suffered with depression. According to a Time Magazine article back in the 1960s, Dr. King attempted suicide before the age of 13 when his grandmother was ill and again after her death. During […]
We all know worry is not good for us. It takes a toll on our physical health, it creates anxiety and gets in the way of moving forward.
But why do we worry when we know this is problematic? The answer is the same for any dysfunctional behavior that we hang on to and do not release. It serves a purpose or we wouldn’t do it.
Here are a five reasons why we hold on to worry even though none of these reasons are really true. We falsely believe worry…
1) Stops bad things from happening—Worry has no impact on what happens in our lives. It doesn’t stop anything. But we think we are somehow taking control when we worry. In fact, worry or no worry, life will happen. Worry only makes you feel worse and doesn’t stop a thing.
2) Prepares us for the worst outcomes-85% of the time what we worry about doesn’t come true so this is a lot of wasted energy. Again, this is a false belief that somehow worry will prepare us for when the bad news comes. You will feel bad with bad news no matter if you worry or not. But you will really feel bad worry about things that never come to pass.
3) Allows us to control external events- This isn’t possible. We can’t worry things into happening. This is magical thinking.
4) Is a way to show we care-Find another way too show that you care! You can certainly be concerned for someone and express your concern but worrying about them or for them doesn’t add to a relationship.
5) Feels like we are doing something -All we are doing is creating stress on our physical body and engaging in a behavior Jesus told us not to do. We aren’t moving to a solution with worry. Worry circles problems and keeps us stuck. Instead, we need to learn to sit patiently and wait, trusting God in the process.
Worry takes a toll on our physical, emotional, relational and spiritual lives. Worry strangles (the literal meaning of the word) the joy out of life. Worry also interferes with our spiritual life because it is based on doubting God. In order to worry, we have to give up trust and wonder if God will really do what He says He will. The opposite of worry is trust. When trouble comes, do we trust?
If you want to let go worry, give up the idea that worry is useful. When we truly believe that worry has no place in our lives, this is the beginning of freedom.