Yesterday, we noted that Jesus tells us to STOP worrying. He doesn't tell us HOW to do so, so obviously he wants us to use our common sense and life experience to figure it out.
Here are some practical ways I have found that we can actually do that on a day to day basis, using the acronym STOP.
Specify your worries.
Ask yourself, "What am I worried about?"
Often, worry becomes this dark cloud of vague concern that hovers over our mind, ruining our day. That's why it pays to define your worries. Make a list. Get them all out on paper so you can have a good look at them.
Research indicates that:
- 40% of our worries will never happen.
- 30% are in the past and we can't do anything about them.
- 12% are about health and worry makes our health worse!
- 10% of our worries are about minor or petty things.
- Only 8% of the things the average person worries about are what we could call legitimate. And half of them, another 4%, are beyond our control.
So studies tell us that 96% of what we worry about is not worth worrying about! It's a waste of time and energy.
Have you ever used a shopping trolley with one wheel that didn't work? It's so annoying! It's squealing and you're irritated and annoyed. It saps your joy and energy. Well, that's what one negative emotion, such as worry, does to your inner world.
Think about it. Why worry about the unimportant, the unlikely and the irrelevant!?
I'll leave you now to work in creating that list ... and we will talk more tomorrow in Part 3.