Definition of worry goes like “to make somebody/yourself think that something bad might happen or has happened” or “it is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit”. If we are too much focused on worry, then our subconscious mind will repeatedly recall all past worrisome experiences. If one worry goes, another come & this cycle continues, unless we break it. Worries are not at all good for our health. It’s not that we can avoid them completely but we must know how to tackle them when they arise in our mind.
You do not need to be a victim of worry. Reduced to its simplest form. You were not born with the worry habit. You acquired it. And because you can change any habit and any acquired attitude, you can cast worry from your mind.
Expert Views About Worry
Why should we take the worry problem so seriously? The reason is clearly stated by Dr. Smiley Blanton, eminent psychiatrist: ‘Anxiety is the great modern plague.’
A famous psychologist asserts that ‘fear is the most disintegrating enemy of human personality, and a prominent physician declares that ‘worry is the most subtle and destructive of all human diseases. Another physician tells us that thousands of people are ill because of ‘dammed-up anxiety’. The destructive quality of worry is indicated by the fact that the word itself is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘to choke’. If someone were to put his fingers around your throat and press hard, cutting off the flow of vital power, it would be a dramatic demonstration of what you do to yourself by long-held and habitual worry.
The clinic staff is said to have made a study of 176 American executives of the average age of forty-four years and discovered that one-half had high blood pressure, heart disease, or ulcers. It was notable in every case of those thus afflicted that worry was a prominent factor. Such survey outcomes are applicable to several other countries as well.
A scientific expert on length of life made a study of some 450 people who lived to be one hundred years of age. He found that these people lived long and contented lives for the following reasons: (1) They kept busy. (2) They used moderation in all things. (3) They ate lightly and simply. (4) They got a great deal of fun out of life. (5) They were early to bed and early up. (6) They were free from worry and fear, especially fear of death. (7) They had serene minds and faith in God.
Haven’t you often heard a person say: “I am almost sick with worry,” and then add with a laugh: “But I guess worry never really makes you ill.” But that is where he is wrong. Worry can make you ill.
Dr. George W. Crile, the famous American surgeon, said: “We fear not only in our minds but in our hearts, brains, and viscera, that whatever the cause of fear and worry, the effect can always be noted in the cells, tissues, and organs of the body.”
Steps 1: Emptying the Mind Daily
But do not be discouraged, for you can overcome your worries. There is a remedy that will bring you sure relief. It can help you break the worry habit. And the first step to take in breaking it is simply to believe that you can. Whatever you believe you can do, you can do, with God’s help.
Here, then, is a practical procedure that will help to eliminate abnormal worry from your experience. Practice emptying the mind daily. This should be done preferably before retiring at night to avoid the retention by the consciousness of worries while you sleep. During sleep, thoughts tend to sink more deeply into the subconscious. The last five minutes before going to sleep are of extraordinary importance, for in that brief period the mind is most receptive to suggestion. It tends to absorb the last ideas that are entertained in waking consciousness.
This process of mind drainage is important in overcoming worry, for fear thoughts, unless drained off, can clog the mind and hinder the flow of mental and spiritual power. To drain them, utilize a process of creative imagination. Conceive yourself as actually emptying your mind of all anxiety and fear. Picture all worry thoughts as flowing out as you would let water flow from a basin by removing the stopper. Repeat the following affirmation during this visualization: ‘With God’s help I am now emptying my mind of all anxiety, all fear, all sense of insecurity.’ Repeat this slowly five times, then add: ‘I believe that my mind is now emptied of all anxiety, all fear, all sense of insecurity.’ Repeat that statement five times, meanwhile holding a mental picture of your mind as being emptied of these concepts. Then thank God for thus freeing you from fear. Then go to sleep.
You can further strengthen the above step by imaginatively thinking of yourself as reaching into your mind and one by one removing your worries. A small child possesses an imaginative skill superior to that of adults. A child responds to the game of kissing away a hurt or throwing away a fear. This simple process works for the child because in his mind he believes that that is actually the end of it. The dramatic act is a fact for him and so it proves to be the end of the matter. Visualize your fears as being drained out of your mind and the visualization will in due course be actualized.
Steps 2: Fill the Mind With Positivity
Imagination is a source of fear, but imagination may also be the cure of fear. The word imagination derives from the idea of imaging. That is to say, you form an image either of fear or of release from fear. What you ‘image’ (imagine) may ultimately become a fact if held mentally with sufficient faith.
Therefore hold an image of yourself as delivered from worry and the drainage process will in time eliminate abnormal fear from your thoughts. However, it is not enough to empty the mind, for the mind will not long remain empty. It must be occupied by something. It cannot continue in a state of vacuum. Therefore, upon emptying the mind, practice refilling it. Fill it with thoughts of faith, hope, courage, expectancy. Say aloud such affirmations as the following: ‘God is now filling my mind with courage, with peace, with calm assurance. God is now protecting me from all harm. God is now protecting my loved ones from all harm. God is now guiding me to the right decisions. God will see me through this situation’.
A half-dozen times each day crowd your mind with such thoughts as these until the mind is overflowing with them. In due course, these thoughts of faith will crowd out worry. Fear is the most powerful of all thoughts with one exception, and that one exception is faith. Faith can always overcome fear. Faith is the one power against which fear cannot stand. Day by day, as you fill your mind with faith, there will ultimately be no room left for fear. This is the one great fact that no one should forget. Master faith and you will automatically master fear.
So the process is—empty the mind and cauterize it with God’s grace, then practice filling your mind with faith and you will break the worry habit.
Way Ahead (Start with Small)
The vast tree of worry which over long years has grown up in your personality can best be handled by making it as small as possible. Thus it is advisable to snip off the little worries and expressions of worry. For example, reduce the number of worry words in your conversation. Words may be the result of worry, but they also create worry. When a worry thought comes to mind, immediately remove it with a faith thought and expression. ‘I’m worried that I will miss the train’. Then start early enough to be sure you get there on time. The less worrying you do, the more likely you are to start promptly, for the uncluttered mind is systematic and is able to regulate time.
As you snip off these small worries you will gradually cut back to the main trunk of worry. Then with your developed greater power, you will be able to eliminate basic worry, i.e., the worry habit, from your life.
“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” – Dale Carnegie