How to stop worrying

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When I’m 30

Memories came flooding back

when I looked at my childhood photos

and re-read the letters from my school friends.

I’m so young, so innocent

yet my mind is always troubled

and worried

about

what should I wear to the party?

Who will I hang out with at lunch?

Which subjects should I study at school?

I know I’ll change

and I’ll grow up

but when I’m 30

I’ll wish that I were still that 15 year old girl

looking in the mirror

worrying about how she looks in her school uniform.

© Rebecca Jones 1999

 

When I was in high school I was quite the poet. I came across a folder of all my poems and songs that I wrote in my teenage years and some of the poems are quite deep. It’s interesting to read them and reflect on what was important to me at the time and the worries I had as a teenager.

I’d like to know when I learned how to worry. Did it start when I went to school or before?

As my life has progressed, my worries have increased and it’s a skill I have taken into adulthood. But of course their subject matter has changed. While I was once absorbed with myself superficially, my worries now include my family. I still have worries about my future. Common worries that I’m sure you may have too. I also have an undercurrent of peace in my heart knowing that whatever I go through, I will have the strength to face what I need to.

I had no intention of writing about worry for today’s blog post, but I had a great afternoon yesterday catching up with a  school friend who I have recently become re-acquainted with since going to a new church.

I always looked up to this friend and I even wrote about her in Dust Collectors. It was interesting talking about our experiences at school and life after it.

What I realized from my friend’s visit and reading back through my poetry is that worry is a normal response when the future is unknown. But life goes on and worry isn’t a great skill to acquire. It’s a burden.

I worried all throughout my plumbing apprenticeship. Was I on the right path? Would I be a good business person? Would I be a good plumber? How can I have children and run a business?

All those worries now seem like a waste of brain productivity, because I know I was on the right path, I know that I can be a good business woman, I know that I wasn’t a great plumber but I worked with my other strengths and yes, I can have children and run a business but it takes a lot of effort.

And yet even though I know all this, I still worry.

But worry can be the catalyst to look for answers. Or create them.

In order for me to stop worrying, I need to pray and release those worries to God and ask for an answer or wisdom to work through whatever it is I am worrying about.

Here are my tips on how to stop worrying and honestly they’re in no particular order.

1. Write down the worry

2. Ask if there is anything you can do to stop the worry

3. If you have no control over it and it hasn’t happened yet, pray about it.

4. Focus your mind on something positive

5. If the worry pops up again, pray again

6. Focus on what can be done, not what can’t

My life experience has shown me that all the things I have worried about previously have all fallen into place or have never occurred at all.

This should put a stop to the cycle of worry but I’m a creature of habit. Most humans are.

I’m not sure why I worried about how I looked in my school uniform nearly 15 years ago, because I was at least 20 kgs lighter than I am today. And interestingly enough, I don’t wish I was 15 again. I look forward with anticipation to what the next decade and beyond holds for my life.

What are you worried about right now and how do you stop the cycle of worry in your life? I love reading your comments.

Linking up with With Some Grace for Flog your blog Friday.