Breaking the Worry Habit: 10 Things You Can Do To Get a Grip and Trust God More – Part 2

By Faithgirlz Author, Allia Zobel Nolan 10TIPS-WORRY-PT2

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
Romans8-28Many 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.  

Faithgirlz Author Allia Zobel NolanAllia Zobel Nolan is the author of 

Visit her at www.AlliaWrites.com.

Breaking the Worry Habit: 10 Things You Can Do To Get a Grip and Trust God More – Part 1

By Faithgirlz Author, Allia Zobel Nolan 

I admit it.  I’m a worrywart. I’ve been one all my life. In fact, worrying IS my life. And recent world events haven’t helped matters.   You name it; I worry about it. I’m anxious over terrorism, hurricanes, global warming, meteorites, bridge collapses, falling elevators, Ebola, lightning, and eclipses. Of course, I also worry about deer ticks, ingrown toenails, my cats leaving me, and that investigators will someday discover the amount of calories in a one-hundred calorie yogurt is actually 350.  I’m anxious for family, friends, relatives—all of mankind—even strangers. I fret about the past, the present, the
pluperfect.  And that’s just a drop in my sea of jitters.

So where is God while I’m wringing my hands?  Probably in his office, with a “Don’t worry. Be happy” sign on his desk.  I can see Him now, sitting there, shaking His head, thinking: 

Where’s her trust? Doesn’t she realize I’m in charge?  Doesn’t she know all the worrying in the world—even by a professional like her—is moot? Haven’t I told her over and over (365 times in the Bible to be precise) “Do not be afraid”?  Didn’t my Son explain about the lilies, the birds of the field, the rock and the bread, the snake and the fish? What gives?  What do I have to do to make her understand?

Okay, so I know I shouldn’t worry. But I do. I’m still a work-in-progress. But I’ve done some research and even written a book about it. Here are a few tips to help manage all the worry.

1. Let There Be No Crisis before its Time
Don’t worry about something that will take place in a week, a day, or even an hour. The variables will be different then than they are today. If you have to make a decision on Friday, wait until Friday, and see what the day brings. Remember, Jesus said, “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34)

2. Don’t Let Possessions Possess You
When you let material things rule you, you give them power.  For example, if you can’t find your favorite earrings, don’t let that spoil your day. You can buy another pair, but you can’t get back another day. Jesus reminds us “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25)

3. Set Worry Limits
If you feel yourself falling into the worry trap, but find it hard to control, do the next best thing: establish limits.  Set a timer or a phone alarm for 15 minutes. Tell yourself: “I feel the need to think about this (my split ends; my lack of Facebook friends; the bully in PE, whatever).  But I’ll only do it for 15 minutes.” When the time is up, the alarm will be a tangible reminder to let the worry go. Schedule this time when you have something important to do immediately afterwards (like meeting your BFF to go shopping, or doing an errand for your mom).  This way, you’ll have to drop worry and refocus fast.   

4. Stay Grounded in the Present
Imagine: You’re at the movies and a worrisome thought crosses your mind.   Oh my goodness, I was supposed to meet Ginger today after lab to give her the notes she wanted. I, like, totally forgot. She’s going to hate me. That thought leads to another: Maybe I can text her now and tell her I can bring the notes to her house tomorrow. In the meantime, you’ve missed half the movie. Quash worrying thoughts such as these with some questions:  

  • Can this wait?
  • Do I have to stop what I’m doing and fix this immediately?
  • Can I solve this problem right now, right this minute?”

If the answer is “No,” then stay in the present moment and make a note to “fix” the problem later.

5. Keep a Worry Journal
journalingJot down what you are worried about, the date, and how much time you spend on the worry-go-round.  For example, “I’m joining my church’s teen choir on Wednesday. What if the others think I’m a dork? What if my voice cracks?  I spent all day, on and off, worrying about this. May 10, 2015.”   Then, the following Wednesday, when you return from choir after having an awesome time, you’ll realize your fears were all in your head.  

Do this with all your anxieties and you’ll see how many of the things you worried about actually happened, and how many didn’t.  Referring to this journal often will show you how much time you waste worrying needlessly.

Start working on your worries by trying out some of the tips above. Check back next week for more advice on eliminating worry from Faithgirlz Author Allia Zobel NolanZobel Nolan is the author of Whatever:  Livin’ the True, Noble, Totally Excellent Life, The Worrywart’s Prayer Book, Angels in the Bible Storybook, a contributing author of The Beauty of Believing: 365 Devotions that Will Change Your Life, and over 170 other titles . Visit her at www.AlliaWrites.com.


Go to Top