Monday Morning Devotion-September 2, 2019
Don't worry about your life. What you will eat, wear or do. Consider the ravens. They don't sow, reap or store up yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than these birds. You can't add a single hour to your life by worrying. Luke 12: 22-25
Ever been called a worry wart? I have. Not by the Lovely Susette, she is too nice a person to resort to name-calling. But, she is a great "defuser" of worries. She has a way of making a worry seem not so, uh°worrisome.
But, it's true. There are lots of things out there we could worry about and they could shape our thinking or divert our actions in an unwholesome or unhealthy way if they are dwelled upon. In other words, if we become a worry wart.
First, what is a worry wart? It is simply "a person who tends to dwell unduly on difficulty or troubles." (www.merriam-webster.com)
So, what is a wart? It is actually an infection in the top layer of skin caused by a virus. Most people will have at least one common wart at some time in their lives, usually on their hands. (www.webmd.com/skinproblems .). By the way, the idea that one can get a wart from picking up a frog or a toad is simply an "old wives tale." While that idea may be false there are some frogs and toads that are poisonous to the touch.
Where did the term worry wart come from? In a 1956 comic strip "Out Our Way" by cartoonist J. R. Williams (1888-1957) Worry Wart was the name of a character who caused others to worry, which is the inverse of the current colloquial meaning. This little tyke (Worry Wart) wasn't a worrier. He was a nuisance, an annoyance who caused other people to worry.
(Columbia Journalism Review, "How We Got the Term Worry Wart" by Merrill Perlman.
Actually a "worry wart" is unrelated, in fact could be considered the opposite of a "stalwart" who is someone who is strong, tough or tenacious.
On the surface worrying about something may seem like a harmless, even natural thing to do. But there can be side effects to worrying, especially the type of worrying that would have you inherit the title worry wart.
David Ropelk, in a 2011 article in "Psychology Today" addressed the seriousness of over-worrying:
"Stress. It is probably one of the biggest risks we face. The more worried you are that you might get sick, the more likely it is that you will, or if you do get sick that you'll end up sicker, or even dead, from an illness you might have survived if you just didn't worry so much. The more worried you are about the health of your heart, the more damage you do to your heart. The more worried you are about losing your memory, the more your memory fades. The list of damage that worry can do, because of the biology of stress, is long and scary. Which means that not worrying more than we have to may be the best thing we can do for our health."
The late Dr. Robert Adler, professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, conducted breakthrough research, that at its core"
authenticated what any grandmother already knew: "Stop worrying or you'll make yourself sick."
Are you a professional worry wart or just an amateur worrier? Here are some ways that www.betterhelp.com suggests can help you stop worrying and calm down:
Of course, first on my list is: Talk to the Lovely Susette; that's not included here because she has her hands full with me. But here are some suggestions that might help:
1) Think about the future: Is this thing you are worrying about going to matter tomorrow, a week or a year from now?
2) Accept the unknown: Don't spend all day worrying about "what ifs." Those things might not even happen then you will have worried needlessly. Since you can't know what is going to happen in the future don't spend precious time worrying about them. Embrace your happy life, now.
3) Force yourself out of your comfort zone: The more you do what makes you uncomfortable the less of a hold it will have on you.
4) Stop the negative inner monologue: When we worry it's often because we've been repeating the same negative thoughts and ideas in our heads like a mantra. Combat it by engaging in something that makes you happy.
5) Go to bed early:You are likely stressed more, hence worry more, when you get less sleep and are tired.
6) Make yourself laugh: Often a good laugh will bring relief to the crappy feeling you are having due to worry.
7) Don't ignore the need for a good cry: Hey sometimes you need to let those bad feelings out by simply giving in to the need to cry. My granddaughter Ellee has that one figured out.
The best way to conquer these worry wart tendencies is through your trust factor. Show your trust in the Heavenly Father by sitting quietly in His Presence. This sacred time strengthens you and prepares you for whatever the day might bring. It's the way you proclaim the reality of His Living Presence.
The problem or multiple problems that are causing you to worry may seem overwhelming. They may appear to be bigger than you are. But they are certainly not bigger than the Lord.
Trust Him. Confide in Him, even though he already knows what is troubling you. That is an even greater reason to exercise your faith and seek relief from those worries through Him.
By drawing near to Him you move away from becoming a worry wart.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for always being there and helping us with our worries so we don't become worry warts. Amen!