Don't Worry your Joy Away

It seems like worry is a very widespread “illness” in our society. Almost everyone seems to worry that this and that may happen. A lot of people are worried about their future, their financial situation, that their husband or wife may leave them, that they may get ill, have a terrible accident… and there are surely a hundred other possible worries.

King Salomon, said to be the wisest person that ever lived, said in Proverbs 12:25: “Worry takes away your joy. . .” Why should you let this happen? A very high majority of the things you worry about almost never happen. Look back at the last 5 years of your life and analyze the worries that caused you sleepless nights.

How many of your worries actually came true? So, why let worry take away your joy? True, some people, by personality, are more prone to worry. But worry tends to take over and become a bad habit that needs to be uprooted and replaced with joy and peace. 

Many times, one person in the couple is the eternal optimist while the other is the worry wart. As time goes on, they become even more polarized. In reality, you both need to come more to the middle and help each other to keep joy in your lives.

The big question is, how to let go of your worries? Here are a few simple ideas to help you get rid of worry.

  1. Stop worrying. Quench your ember of worries before it becomes a wildfire and causes you real harm. What is now only a thought will overcome you if you keep focusing on it. If you keep thinking your marriage is going to fail, you’ll stopped trying. When you stop trying, you’ll fail by default. Cancel out the negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.  
  2. Take action. Worrying breeds more worrying. You need to address your worries. Find the root cause and figure out what actions you need to be taking in order to move forward. Whenever you catch yourself indulging in those worry negative thoughts, say STOP, and “change the topic” of your thoughts. Focus on the best possible outcome. Picture yourself as successfully doing whatever it is you are worried about doing.
  3. Remember what you love. One reason you tend to worry is because you lose sight of the reason why you are where you are. In the case of relationships, you are with this person because you loved each other and the thought of being together forever. When you focus on what you love, you worry less and have more joy. Joy makes it easier to take action. Therefore, instead of thinking: “If only he would. . .” or “If only she will just. . .”  things would change, remember all the reasons you love each other. Then act “as if” you were not worried and keep going forward.
  4. Stay in the present. Spend less time in the past and in the future and more time here, in the present moment. Focus on what you can do right now – and then trust that everything will work out.

I have to warn you that if you are a perpetual worrier, you’ll need more than today to brake the habit. The worry habit doesn’t dissolve overnight This process takes time and practice. So, please, be patient with yourself. But overcoming the worry habit will give you the energy to take advantage of many opportunities you would otherwise been too overwhelmed to notice, and too drained to explore.  

Your turn: What do you worry about? How is it getting in your way? What are some of the ways you have successfully confronted worry in the past? What is the first step you need to take today in order to win over worry? How can you help each other to stay away from worry? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Post in the FaceBook Forum and let’s help each other with ideas on how to conquer worry so it doesn’t steal our joy away.

Photo via Flickr by Emergency Brake