Worry Is Bad — Love Can Stop It
Learn why your life depends on it
Life is complex. Our world is chaotic. Every day we have an opportunity to worry. There are champion worriers. I’ve known some. But there isn’t a trophy for the best worrier. It isn’t an Olympic sport. We need to stop it.
Worry is bad for everyone. Not only full-blown worry but also emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems and ruin your life.
I’ll show you how it’s silently hurting you and how love can stop it.
WHY PEOPLE WORRY
People worry for various reasons. For some, it’s a habit and they feel they can’t stop. Others don’t realize they’re doing it. It’s a reaction that goes unnoticed.
Then there are people who believe worrying is their responsibility. They defend worry in the name of love saying it’s because they care. This my friend, is a ruse.
Worry is not love. Worry is bad.
Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.― Erma Bombeck
WHY WORRY IS BAD
Worry is ruminating over something that hasn’t happened. The dictionary defines worry as:
- to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts;
- to torment with cares, anxieties; trouble; plague.
- to seize, especially by the throat, with the teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does
That last one is a graphic picture of what we’re doing to ourselves when we worry. Worry is destructive.
Worry activates the fight or flight system inside us that releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. In emergency situations, these hormones are helpful but not with worry.
Worry is a chronic undertow that will steal your health if you let it.
Some of the harmful effects of these hormones in the body are:
- High blood pressure
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and digestive problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Breathing issues
- Racing heartbeat
- Trembling and twitching
- Suppression of the immune system
- Problems swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Short-term memory loss
- Premature coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
Those are bad. Don’t let worry do that to you. There’s a way to stop it.
WORRY CAN BE STOPPED
I had trouble with worry a while back. I felt powerless at times. Other times I didn’t realize I was worrying. My freedom from worry began on a certain day.
Here’s my story.
We lived in Arizona for a few years, far away from family. That alone was a big stressor for me and I didn’t deal with it well. I was suffering panic attacks and taking Xanax before we even moved.
Add to that two deaths in the family, the housing crash of 2008, and unemployment to name a few, and I was a bit of a mess. What about this and what about that ruminated inside me.
One day while moaning to the pastor’s wife she told me to cast my care. The words were familiar but instead of helping me, I felt attacked. Self-condemnation said I should know better.
Grace brought the revelation I needed to learn something instead of perform something through words that escaped my own lips.
I responded, no, I snapped — I don’t know how!
Those 4 words were the pivot point in my life — I don’t know how. They implied there was a way — and if there was a way — then the way could be found.
I was miserable and wanted to find it.
LEARN FROM GRACE
On that pivotal day when I got the epiphany, there was a way to do this cast your care thing I prayed and asked God to teach me. He did.
It wasn’t instant. It was a process. That’s how grace works.
I learned worry pushes and demands action.
Worry happens in a place where action isn’t possible so the pseudo-action is the rolling over of the worst case scenarios in the mind and emotions.
To stop worrying, all that action and inner work has to have a place to go.
Concerns, stresses and cares — whatever you want to call them start little like tiny weeds in a garden. Like those weeds, they’ll choke out life if not removed. Cares need to be put somewhere just like weeds need to be put in the compost or garbage.
I learned it’s all about trust.
To stop worrying was to take the care, the concern, the worry, the worst case scenario and give it to someone trusted. The key is in the place you trust. To be able to cast my care on God required my soul to trust Him.
Trust is not something we can demand of ourselves. Trust is something that grows.
I learned trust is based on love.
Fear blocks trust. Worry is a form of fear. Love, real love is more powerful than fear and when given the opportunity it purges fear out of our hearts and builds trust.
Love doesn’t worry. Love believes. Love kills the root of worry when trust is strong.
I learned it’s about His love, not me following orders.
What a relief. When the Bible tells us to cast all our cares on God, it’s because of His love for us, not a demand for compliance. He cares about us. Our cares matter to Him.
He invites us to give them to Him because He can handle them and we can’t.
It starts with daring to believe His love.
Love is more powerful than fear and when given the opportunity it purges fear out of our hearts and builds trust Click To Tweet
How much we worry is evidence of how little or much we trust Love. Wherever we find ourselves isn’t a problem to identify — it’s a starting point. Love is patient, kind and full of grace. My story is evidence.
My trust in Love was small but God took what I had and made it bigger. Now I know and believe the Love of God. Every morning I remind myself of what Love says.
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 AMPC
I have a piece of paper where I list potential worries and when reminding myself of the words above I lay my hands on that piece of paper and put my trust in His love.
For the most part, worry has been stopped in my life by this Love. I say for the most part because I’m human and not perfect.
I’ll always need grace.
- How have you struggled with worry? Can you relate to my story?
- Where do you find yourself on the trust continuum?
- Love’s Manifesto will help you believe — get it here free.
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Originally published at www.daniellebernock.com on March 6, 2018.