The Worry Gene
October 7, 2020

Oh I know something bad is going to happen! – exclaimed the lady I was talking to who admitted that she had trouble with worrying too much. “I guess I have the worry gene”, she said. Shortly after, I began thinking about the song “Hankuna Mata”, which means “no worries”. I love that song from the Lion King movie. Interestingly, others have expressed how cute the song is, but not realistic, because in the “real world” there are overwhelming trials and obstacles. They can’t imagine a worry free life – but I can. The secret is not allowing this tiny little word called “worry” the opportunity to rule.

What is worry?

Mental distress and agitation occurs by allowing the mind to dwell on trouble or something anticipated as trouble. That is the definition of “worry”. When worrying situations dominate the thoughts and consume the mind with images of unfavorable outcomes, this is also known as anxiety, uneasiness, or fretting.

Realize worrying is a choice!

In Matthew 6:34, Jesus says, “take therefore no thought for tomorrow”.  Another translation simply states “don’t worry about tomorrow”. In other words, make a choice to reject the need to dwell on issues out of your control.

Know that most things we worry about never actually happen.

I read a book to my daughter called “Wemberly Worried” by Kevin Henkes. The little girl in the story worried about everything. This ranged from anxiousness about whether or not the tree in the backyard would fall on her house, to if her teacher in her new school would be mean. This young child had created a long checklist of concerns. Nevertheless, nothing she worried about ever happened. Sometimes, just like the little girl in the story, we exasperate and stress ourselves out about something that may or may not happen.

This distress doesn’t offer anything beneficial to our lives.

On the contrary it breeds negativity and can be detrimental to our health, causing migraine headaches, insomnia, depression, strokes, and other issues.

Utilizing a variety of coping methods can assist us in weathering our personal storms.

Alternatives to worry are exercising, listening to uplifting music, talking to someone about personal fears, or brainstorming positive outcomes to the situation. Distracting the thoughts with scripture and declaring it’s promises produces strength and peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Lastly, although life is filled with struggles, remember that every minute spent with worry is 60 seconds without happiness. In the words of Bobby McFerrin’s song – Don’t Worry, Be Happy!


How do you handle worry when it tries to creep it’s ugly head?

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