While doing some research for this, I looked at an article titled “10 Destructive Habits That Unhappy People Have”, by Steve Roy.* He starts the article off with this: “It is said that happiness is a state of mind and to a certain extent, that’s true. But I believe that whether we are happy or unhappy is more about the habits we have. Unhappy people tend to have destructive habits in their lives.”
Mr. Roy did not indicate that his list of 10 items were in order of importance – I guess maybe that could be subjective depending on the individual. But the #7 item was “You are a worry wart.” He had this in part to say about it: “Worrying is a choice like everything else…Worry is such a waste of time yet causes so much unhappiness. Worry is nothing but fear…Do not waste another minute of your life worrying about things you have no control over.”
Matthew 6:27 (AMP) expresses very clearly what a waste worry is when Jesus says: “‘And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life?’”
How can you break the habit of worrying and hopefully bring joy back into your life? Old school thinking was that any habit can be broken in 21 days with a concerted effort. But I discovered that idea is apparently antiquated. They now say it can take from 18 days to the better part of a year; and that a key to success is consistency. Replacing the bad habit with a positive replacement and doing it regularly is one of the important steps.
Okay, so we know that breaking the habit of worry is not necessarily going to be easy, but generally, nothing worth having comes easily. No doubt, it is going to take a conscious effort on your part. What you have to keep foremost in your mind is the reward waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. A life that is less stressed and more joyful. (Note that I used the word joyful rather than happy – happiness can be temporary while joy is deeper and more abiding.)
I am certainly no Psychologist and do not have all the answers, so if you are a worry wart and want to rid yourself of that destructive habit, I would suggest you do some real research for yourself. Quit being distracted by fretting over things you cannot control – things that most times are not even going to come to fruition. You are robbing your life of joy. If you have a concern – then pray about it and release it to God to handle. Always remember, He has all the abilities and capabilities necessary to handle your concerns so that you do not have to transfer them to worry.
Now I have some quotes to share with you that are some food for thought:
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo F. Buscaglia
“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” – Swedish Proverb
“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” – Dale Carnegie
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere” – Erma Bombeck
“There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.” – Harold Stephen
“Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.” – Mary Hemingway
But the best quote of all comes from Paul in Philippians 4:6-7 (CEV): “‘Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.’”
Here is to putting a stop to all the worrying and welcoming joy and peace back to our lives!
Written by Karran Martin
August 27, 2021