Worry Time

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

Our thoughts, like our actions, reap results. If we think critically, we will reap those criticisms. If we think anxious, fear-filled, worried thoughts, we will reap that anxiety. If we want to live a joy-filled life, we must keep our thoughts fixed on things of God. It is hard to live of joy when we live with worry.

Do you ever wonder how to sow good thoughts when you feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulder? Do you really desire to dwell on positive joy-filled thoughts but have serious problems that seem to take front place in your mind? Do you really want a joy-filled life but know that you have issues that you must sort through?

Have you ever considered scheduling “worry time” in order to deal with pressing issues?

The July 2011 issue of the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reports on a study done in the Netherlands involved a technique called stimulus control. Participants were taught to compartmentalize their worry by setting aside a specific half-hour each day to think about worries and consider solutions. They were to deliberately avoid thinking about those issues for the rest of the day. Researchers found that the participants who used this technique before they began therapy regimens reduced their anxiety, stress, and depressed symptoms significantly more than those who only used standard anxiety treatments.

Patients were taught four steps to less worry.

1. Identify and realize when you are worrying.

2. Set aside a time and place to think about these worries.

3. When you begin to worry, postpone it, and focus on the task at hand.

4. Use the “worry time” to try to solve the problems your worries present.

This process is a proactive way to focus on the problems that worry you and address them through problem solving. The “worry time” is not spent wringing hands and agonizing on issues. Instead, it is spent dealing with a solution.

I encourage you to add a time of prayer and meditation to your “worry time” in order to allow God to reveal to you discernment and direction. God wants to carry our burdens and give us a life of peace. Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you (Psalm 55:22).

Giving our worries to God is an important step in reaping a joy-filled life.


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