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Saturday, July 7, 2012

3 Benefits of Worrying...

“Nothing comes so naturally to a human being as anxiety and worry.”
― Brian Richardson

Photo courtesy of Alex E. Proimos, Some Rights Reserved

Ok, all those who have never worried about anything, raise your hand...
Yup, that's what I thought. We have all worried, are worried now, and, assuredly, will have opportunity to worry in the future.
Since we all worry, let's take a look at some of the benefits of worrying.

Here are 3 benefits for you to consider:

1. ?????

Ok, I'll be honest, I cannot think of ONE benefit of worrying, let alone 3!

The only thing you gain from worrying is an increase of things to worry about!!

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie Ten Boom


Worrying wears you out. Worrying zaps you of your strength. Worrying chases away happiness. Worrying feeds your worst assumptions and starves your hope for the future.

“Worry divides the mind.”
― Max Lucado

Try thinking when you're worried. Try to plan your week when you're worried about that doctor's appointment next Thursday. Try writing a blog post while your spouse is two hours late getting home. You just can't. Worrying consumes your mind and makes it impossible to think of anything else.

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”
― Mark Twain

Our minds are amazing at projecting what the future may look like. The problem lies in the fact that all it has to work with is the information we feed it. If we feed it worried thoughts, our minds will go down that road of negative outcomes a thousand miles and show us the "scenery" along the way.  The downfall to this is, most of it will never happen. These are simply the worst case scenarios. Don't waste energy on that which probably won't happen.

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles...
by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”
― Mark Twain

Be proactive about what goes into your mind. Don't form the habit (and break it if you have it) of feeding your mind only the bad information. Choose to think of the best possible scenarios.

“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”
― Śāntideva

Worrying robs you of your God-given ability to choose. You surrender control of the situation to a made-up outcome that may or may not happen. By worrying you also greatly increase the likelihood that you'll experience a less desirable outcome than if you had chosen not to worry!

Please Don't Misunderstand

Don't mistake worry for concern. There are many situations where concern is warranted, totally acceptable, and expected. If a loved one is in the Emergency Room. If you get laid off. If your child is lost. These are situations where one would be expected to show great concern. 

Here's where I believe the line is:
Worrying: You are consumed with the "worst that could happen". You are focused on things that are beyond your control. You are paralyzed with fear and unable to think clearly.

Concern: You understand the gravity of the situation, but you're focused on doing those things that are within your control. You don't allow your thoughts to be overrun by your worst fears.

As you reduce the amount of time and energy you expend on worrying, I am confident to will experience more energy, a greater sense of control and increased joy and happiness.

Q: What do you do to keep from needlessly worrying in your life?

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Twitter: @Skropp2


  1. Like President Mullen always said (and he got it from Stephen R. Covey), focus on your circle of influence. I can still see President Mullen drawing the circle on the chalk board and listing the things we can control, the things we can influence, and the things that we have no control or influence over (like the weather). I have tried to make this a part of my life as well as teach many people about this powerful principle.

    1. That was a huge part of where I got it, I envisioned the circles being drawn as I wrote it :) Jared Snow and I were actually just talking about it Thursday, which led me to thinking about it and then writing the post. So it's funny you mentioned President, because he indirectly influenced it :) thanks for reading AND sharing it my friend!

  2. There seem to be two areas where I get wrapped 'round the axle: when I'm affected by something I can't control, and when I'm not going to be affected by something but think I ought to be concerned about it. In both cases, when I can let go and let God, then things are much better. Even my wife will comment on how serene and peaceful I can be. It's fantastic.

    Thanks for the wonderful reminder. And nice job suckering me on the title!

    1. Great points Bret! It's a hard thing to do! I'm constantly reminding myself to chill and not worry about things beyond my control! Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I'm not. But you're spot on about the peace that can come from doing so!
      Thanks for swingin' by and commenting!!