What is it that causes you to worry?
‘Worry’ comes from an anglo-saxon word, “to strangle” or “to choke.” As the origin of the word suggests, worry can get a strangle hold on us, and literally cut off the air supply that allows us to breathe emotionally.
Worry keeps us from living our lives to the full. Fatigue is a major cause of discouragement. Frustration and fear are others. Where there is fatigue, frustration, and fear, discouragement is not far behind.
Dr. Walter Cavert conducted a study of the things we worry about. The study showed we spend:
– 92% of our emotional energy over things that won’t happen or things we can’t change;
– 40% of the things we worry about never happen;
- 30% of our worries concern the past;
- 12% of our worries are needless worries about our health; and
– 10% of our worries are insignificant (things that will not make much of a difference in our lives).
That alone is enough reason not to waste emotional energy on worrying.
Also, consider the effect your worry has on others. People can become discouraged because you are discouraged. You can become discouraged because other people are discouraged.
What can we do about discouragement?
In order to overcome discouragement, we must remember God. Isaiah 51:12-13 says, “He that is afraid of a man that shall die forgets the Lord his Maker.”
Remember first that God is there!
We can be very discouraged when we think we are all alone in the situation, so know God is with you. He is there whether you realise it or not, but it helps to realise it.
Matthew 6:34 says, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Notice this verse doesn’t say, you will never go through hard times, it says don’t worry in advance about what may or may not happen because God’s help will arrive.
Another way to deal with discouragement, knowing its contagious, is to spend time with people who encourage not discourage.
The best people to hang around are those who leave you feeling a little more courageous, because they put courage in.
And finally, relinquish control. Worry can be an egotistical habit. Worry is the idea that if we were in control of everything, all would be well.
Philipians. 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Having trust in the God is the polar opposite of worry. Practice focusing on your ability to trust God. I know it’s easier said than done…that’s why I used the word “practice.”
Practice living free from discouragement today!