When life presses the pause button on our progress, the natural tendency is to worry. Among the many circumstances we face, we often worry about our health, finances, and our relationships. As unrealistic as worrying can sometimes be – it is one of the most common symptoms we face. But will worrying today create the certainty you crave the following day? Research suggests that half the worrying we do is in anticipation of a negative future outcome. Our relationship to worrying is often reflected in our ability to solve problems.
Do you ever find yourself caught up in your own worrying? If you want to stop worrying and embrace a solution, you have to understand the core of your worrying. Generally speaking, we can agree, without a doubt, that worrying is a waste of time. Though the solution isn’t always what we would expect, we can trust that there is hope for the future. Just like a diamond is forged through immense heat and pressure, so must we go through a similar process to grow beyond our expectations. This is how our character is formed. The road has no easy path, but coming to terms with reality is the first step to recovery.
At a certain point in our lives, we come to the realization that we have little control over the events in our lives, but we can learn to change our perception – that alone can change everything. Jesus often spoke about worrying, the things we are most devoted are what we worry about. If we’re devoted to health, we will inevitably worry about it. If we are devoted to our finances, we will inevitably worry about it. If we are devoted to our relationships, we will inevitably worry about it. Though these things are important, depending on the individual – the list could be endless.
What if you could shift the meaning you assign each experience? How could that change your life? Imagine, if instead of feeling anxious, you felt peace.
Here are the top three things people worry about most:
Your Future, Your Money
The stresses of finances can be a heavy burden; whether worrying about debt, fear you won’t have enough to cover your next monthly bill, worried about your retirement, or raising your kids – indeed, feeling financially insecure can impact your stress level greatly. Chronic worrying can eventually take huge leaps in your life, causing major anxiety and severely impacting your self-esteem.
Suzanne Woolley from Bloomberg writes, “In 2017, 34 percent of workers said their current financial worries negatively affects their lives, compared with just 21 percent in 2015.” It seems America is more concerned each year. So, what is the solution? Gain leverage by getting a handle on your financial situation and create a realistic plan that results in sound budgeting. More often than not, it is when we sit down to create a plan that we realize the situation was not as big, to begin with.
Your Life, Your Health
Most people don’t know Moses as an insecure individual. We know him as a leader. A man who empowered the oppressed with a staff on one hand and a heart committed to achieving the impossible. When Moses decided to flee Egypt for fear of being killed, his worrying took a toll on him. Many decades went by before he could see and understand his own mortality. I wonder if he feared whether or not he would eat, where he would sleep, or what the next step of his life looked like.
It is not uncommon to worry about our health or the health of the people we love. In fact, some worry is not necessarily a bad thing. To a certain extent, worrying may propel us to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Too much worrying though, can cause turmoil, setbacks, and anxiety. I sometimes wonder if Moses feared for his health. The Bible called him an anxious man with self-esteem issues. Fearing or worrying about your health can cause serious physical and mental conditions.
Though difficult to do, realizing and accepting that death is inevitable is an important part of life. When Moses accepted his mortality, only then was he able to live a joyful productive life despite his circumstances. When we realize that the events of life are often out of our control, we can do our best to live for the present while preparing for the future – encouraged that tomorrow will bring new opportunities.
Your Relationships, Your Impact
If there is one common subject throughout the bible it is a theme of restoration. God wants to restore our relationship with him and our relationship with others. In fact, our relationship with the people around us is a reflection of our relationship with God. Communicating through our problems is often the solution to a fulfilling relationship. If you’re single, the worry may be finding the right partner. If you’re in a relationship, the worry may be where the future will take you or will the bond last. We all worry. That’s because relationships play a key role in our joy. Your relationship with your boss will affect your productivity, your relationship with your family will affect your relationship with others, your relationship with your friends will affect your happiness. Relationships are important, which is why you are reading this today.
The solution? Whether you were wronged or someone has wronged you, take the initiative to communicate through the problem effectively, blame lies on both sides of the coin. We are each responsible for our thoughts, actions, and especially our happiness. We may not have control of how people react to us, but we certainly have control of how we react to them. Loving those who have hurt us is incredibly difficult to do, but it is often how we grow and mature. The road has no easy path but coming to terms with reality is the first step to recovery.