By Faithgirlz Author, Allia Zobel Nolan
Last week, we looked at a few tips to work to rid yourself of worry. This week, we’ll explore five more things you can do to get a grip and trust God more.
6. Be Your Own Disaster Master
Worrying is a choice. You can choose not to do it. Once you catch yourself, you can say “Okay, I know all I’m doing is going around in circles. So I’m getting off this bus. I’m not going to do this to myself.” Then get completely absorbed with something that requires your total mental attention: do a Saduko puzzle, rearrange your clothes closet, write a book on Twitter, work on a scrapbook project, or file your computer photos.
7. Stop Playing God
You can’t plan for everything. So worrisome thinking—such as— If this, happens, I’ll do this. If that happens, I’ll do that. If this and that happens, I’ll do this and that, will only drive you up the wall. Truth is, you don’t know what will happen five minutes from now, let alone tomorrow. The Bible says it in a nutshell: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. (James 4:13-14). So stop trying to do God’s job. Things will evolve according to what’s in His day planner, not yours.
8. Don’t Try to Control Others with Your Worries
Worrying about others wastes a lot of time. It can also make your friends frustrated with you. Let people be who they are. Stop forcing them to do what will make you feel better, instead of what they want. If you’re anxious about your friend riding a bike to school, remember God is in charge. Don’t transfer your fears to your BFF by saying something like, “I really worry when you’re late for class because you ride that stupid bike. Can’t you just walk to school with us instead?” Now your BFF might enjoy riding her bike, so don’t spoil it for her…she’s not worried. So don’t you be. God has a plan for your BFF, and your worrying won’t change that. So hand over your fears to God and let him handle them.
9. Reign in Your Imagination
Many worriers are gifted with super-duper imaginations. Don’t use yours against yourself. Don’t create images of doom and gloom….painting a picture of the bad things that could happen. For example, thinking: I know I’m going to fail this test; Math is my worst subject. Yeah, I studied, but I just know I’ll freeze up and go blank. Then mom will take away my phone privileges, and yada, yada, yada.
Instead, use your imagination to visualize the best possible positive outcome: (I’m going to ace this test. Mom will be so proud of me.) Remember, “… in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28) So why worry?
10. Practice and Pretend
All of us have a little “actress” in us. And the perfect time to use that skill is when you’re worried. Acting “as if” you’re not anxious when, in fact, you are, interrupts the worry cycle. Showing yourself that you can function in the face of your anxieties—pushing worry to the side side—while you go about your business as usual, will train your mind to function despite feeling uncomfortable. Then after you survive a series of nail-biting experiences that turn out to have been nothing to fret about, your mind will say, “See I told you so.” Practice and pretend not to worry, and in time, your anxieties won’t paralyze you.
One more thing: remember, like any training program, we can’t do it once, forget it, and expect results. It takes dedication. But will I worry about it? Will I make myself anxious? I think not.
Allia Zobel Nolan is the author of
- Whatever: Livin’ the True, Noble, Totally Excellent Life
- The Worrywart’s Prayer Book
- Angels in the Bible Storybook
- The Beauty of Believing: 365 Devotions that Will Change Your Life (contributing author)
- and over 170 other titles
Visit her at www.AlliaWrites.com.