Many men deal with worry in their lives. Left unchecked, this stress can dominate life. Living in this fallen world creates quite a bit to worry about, but being a Christian can free you from the chains of excessive worry. Jesus offers complete freedom. Here are 10 steps to keep worry from dominating your life.
Step One: See how little worry helps you. Worry doesn’t have the power to prevent anything from happening in life. Also, many of the bad things that you worry about may never end up happening and many good things can happen instead. So worry is completely useless.
Step Two: Recognize how much worry harms you. Being dominated by worry offers no benefit, but it will instead hurt you. Many physical ailments result from worry such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and suppressing your immune system. Many mental issues and spiritual problems are also caused by worry. Worry saps your valuable time and energy, which are better used in profitable activities.
Step Three: Recognize the difference between worry and concern. It does good to be concerned about things, but its not healthy to worry about them. That’s because concern motivates you to do something to solve problems or plan helpful ways to cope with them, but worry keeps you stuck on problems and distracts you from planning any helpful ways of dealing with them.
Step Four: Find what triggers worry in your life. Worry enters life whenever you feel out of control; you feel vulnerable or powerless; you let the imagination run away with negative thoughts about what may happen in the future; or you experience a traumatic loss that’s difficult or unexpected. Once you see what triggers worry in your life, you can begin to guard against worry in those situations.
Step Five: Make the choice. No matter how careful you may become, you cannot stop bad things from happening. But you do have a choice of how you respond to whatever happens. You must make the choice of how you respond to whatever happens. You must make a decision to stop dwelling on worrisome thoughts as they enter your mind, and to pray about those thoughts instead. Choose to pray instead of worrying.
Step Six: Trust God to deal with what worries you. Since God wants what is best for you and since God is all-powerful, we must learn to trust him to take care of us. When things seem to be falling apart, use this opportunity to show your faith and to lay your problems at the feet of Jesus. Confess your weaknesses to God and ask him to give you the faith and healing you need.
Step Seven: Change your thoughts instead of suppressing them. The more you try to not think about something that worries you, the more preoccupied your mind will become with them. So suppressing your thoughts will not work. Instead, through prayer, evaluate your every thought. Think about solutions and about blessings and chose to spend your time dwelling on these things.
Step Eight: Pay special attention to your health. Unhealthy lifestyles lead you to a life of worry. Your body is designed to receive a certain amount of sleep, exercise, and nutrition. While there will be times you cannot control circumstances, you can control your diet and your activity. By avoiding alcohol and tobacco, saying no to things that sap your strength, and reasonably controlling your schedule, you can give your body the energy it needs to deal with life.
Step Nine: Live in the Moment. Worry focuses your attention on the future, anticipating negative events that will probably never even happen. Make the decision to live in the present, taking one day at a time as Jesus says you should do, trusting that he will empower you to handle every worrisome situation that comes your way.
Step Ten: Cultivate Contentment. If you’re not content with your life the way it is right now, you’ll be open to worry. Ask God to teach you to be content with whatever circumstances you encounter. Focus on the fact that God is always with you, place your confidence in God’s goodness, and trust him to accomplish good purposes through whatever circumstances you go through at any time. Make a habit of noticing the many ways that god is blessing you every day, and then expressing your thanks to God for your relationship with him and the blessings that he is constantly giving you.
Apply these steps every day and you will discover that there is life beyond worry. Don’t worry about doing each of these steps perfectly but see that steady and consistent choices will get you closer to a change in heart and mind.