Why Worry?

Day 5 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Treating worry 


There are a number of cognitive methods used in psychology to deal with persistent worry and I wish to draw upon two strategies that complement the scriptures concerning worry and anxiety.


Worry awareness training


The primary step towards targeting excessive worry is actually recognizing when it occurs. By paying attention to your worries, and even recording them in a journal, you are putting yourself back in control to catch them much early on in the worry cycle. 


A further step is to separate your worries into two distinct categories: ‘worries about your present situation’ and ‘worries about hypothetical future situations’. When you do this, you can draw upon what we learned yesterday about becoming more tolerant of uncertainty, and again you will retain clarity and control over your thoughts. 


In Psalm 94:17-19, the Psalmist writes ‘in the multitude of my anxious thoughts within me, Your comforts delight my soul!’ (Amplified version). 


How did the Psalmist know that they had a multitude of anxious thoughts? I argue that this is a brilliant example of worry awareness training. The psalmist knew that they had those thoughts because they paid attention to them - even to the point of recording them in this Psalm.


Response for the day: 


Spend today writing down all your worries and separate them into past and future worries. After doing this pray about them and relinquish control. Keep repeating this until it becomes easier not to think about it.