How to Stop Worrying, or at Least Do It Less Often

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Worry is like a rocking chair:It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.Erma Bombeck

Last night was a rough one. Lots of hard and persistent contractions that caused me a fair degree of alarm. I have a history of precipitous births, which means that labor can progress a little too quickly for comfort. (With FishBoy4 we made it to the hospital with 15 minutes to spare!)

33 weeks is NOT the time to go into labor, precipitous or otherwise. It has happened before, in this pregnancy and in the last two, that I would have nights like this. So I know that the best thing to do is drink a ton of water, lie down, and try to relax.

Worry is certainly the last thing I should be doing at a time like that. I realized that if I knew this wasn’t the real thing, just an evening of intense Braxton-Hicks, then it would be easier to relax. But the idea that I could need to head to the hospital contributed to my anxious heart.

As a result, worry was robbing me of an evening of my life. Not the first time that’s happened. Probably won’t be the last. But, worry, as good ole’ Erma says, doesn’t get us anywhere.

Maybe you’re not literally bursting at the seams with a baby. But, surely there are cares in your life that want to plague you and tempt you to worry. A potential job transfer and subsequent move? A budget that just doesn’t balance? A child struggling in areas beyond your ken? Health problems? A school system that doesn’t understand what your child needs?

It’s one thing to be told, “Don’t worry.” And another thing to actually do it. I could say, “Go out with the girls. Take a bubble bath. Take the morning off.”

Those are great things for rest and relaxation. Don’t get me wrong. Those are good things. But, they are not cures. They can treat symptoms, but they don’t go to the heart of our matters.

God made us. He knows every hair on our heads, every thought that we think. He is in control of all our days, all our circumstances, all the things that tempt us to fear. What does He say about worry?

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 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. — Philippians 4:4-7

  • Rejoice in who God is – Maker and Sustainer of all things.
  • Be reasonable – don’t go off on a wild goose chase in your mind about all the horrors that could happen in the situation at hand. You don’t know what will happen, so don’t borrow trouble.
  • Trust that God is there and that He is in control.
  • Don’t be anxious. Don’t fret. Don’t focus on the maybe’s.
  • Pray. Be thankful for the good that there is in the situation. Seek that good out. Ask for help if you can’t see it.
  • Rest in God’s goodness and peace.

Hope you know I’m preaching to myself in this. May you and I rest in God’s goodness today and may my uterus take a break.

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  1. Excellent. Praying is so often the last thing that comes to mind when I may be consumed with worry, but always the first thing that puts my heart truly at peace.

  2. Thinking of you today and hoping that all is better on the baby front. Sometimes my prayers are actually songs that I hum or catch myself singing all day. The one I use most during times of worry (or exhaustion or a sick child or marital tension) is an old hymn. “Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness…morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.” It calms me and along with some deep breaths helps me to feel peace. Thanks for sharing with us. You are held in prayer.

  3. Thanks, Mamalibby. That means a lot to me. I appreciate your prayers and your song suggestion. That is a good one.

  4. So sorry to hear that things are acting up. Know I’ll be praying for you. Love you!

  5. You are absolutely in my and my family’s prayers. I delivered my second child at 23 weeks 6 days. Today, she is a feisty, thriving 2-yr old. That was the scariest time of my entire life and I must admit that my “oh-so-elegant” prayer at the time was simply “Please, God. Please, God. Please, God.”

    This post was beautiful and a wonderful reminder for those of us in all manner of circumstances. Thank you.

  6. Sure do hope you’re feeling better and all is well in the Fish house today. Great post…worry is one of the biggest things I struggle with in myself.