Turn Your Worries into Action
  Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

Have you ever worried all night long and found yourself in the morning exactly in the same situation you were in the night before, except more sleepy and tired? 

In spite of worrying all night, you didn't solve anything, learn anything new, or acquire any possession, except perhaps a headache.  God gave us the ability to worry to help us assess the risks facing us, and to plan appropriate steps to meet our needs.  The purpose of the "work of worrying" is summarized in the saying, "forewarned is forearmed."  If you only worry and not take the next step, that is action, you don't ever get out of the swirling waters onto the shore.  

To learn to stop worrying, retrain your brain.  Just as you train your body position and your muscles to learn a golf swing, you can train your brain to take a swing at your worries.  However, you have about one minute to bounce that worry off you when it tries to seize your mind.  If you let those first few seconds slip, that one worry will spread its tentacles and multiply into dozens of related worries.  Catch it young.  You can break a single stick with ease; it's difficult to break a bunch of them together.  

When a worry strikes you, get out of that bed, even if it is the middle of the night.  Do something physical for five minutes such as, climbing up and down the staircase, do jumping jacks, stretch, sing or whistle.  Then sit at the desk and write down the problem that you were worried about.  Write down three actions that you can take to address that problem.  Note the earliest time when you can act on them.  
Think of a positive self-affirming thought, for example, "Positive solutions come to me.  I am a problem solver."  See yourself as a person who has all the capabilities to meet the challenge.  Blow your breath into both your palms and say to yourself, "I just blew off my worry," and go to bed.  Then, the next morning, follow those three actions you wrote down.  

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