Use Your Words Wisely 

Words are powerful. They can encourage and heal or they can discourage and hurt. Words in and of themselves can be the root of either worry or hope. 

If you want to get right to the source of your worries, listen to the words you speak to yourself and to others. Repeatedly saying, “I’ll never get out of debt,” for example, is going to quickly turn into hopelessness and stress. Speaking the opposite, “I am going to spend in such a way to reduce my debt. In five years I will be debt free!” will keep you…

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Give Up Your Agenda 

If we are honest with ourselves, we would see that we make up our own self-centered agendas for so many aspects in our lives. We think we are taking control over situations we are worried about, but this is rarely true and almost always leads to more stress and worry. 

For example, approaching a loved one with a plan to fix their problem will most often be met with a defensive posture. They are going to smell your agenda miles away and see any unhealthy motives you have. A better way to help the person…

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Hold Out Open Hands to God 

Worry is frequently about not having something we long for or losing something we cherish. Ironically though, if we obsess too much about what we want or cling too tightly to what we love we end up with more worry and less peace. 

The Bible is clear that we are to be grateful for what we have and remember that ultimately everything belongs to God.  Jesus also warns us not to idolize what we have, even good things from God. As a parent, for example, it is easy to become so wrapped up into our kids that we…

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Stop Trying so Hard 

Often worry stems from trying so hard to be someone we are not meant to be or do things we are not expected to do. We put overly high demands on ourselves and then worry we won’t attain those measures. Then, if we are worried about the situation, we put extra work into manipulating and controlling it. 

Try not trying so hard for a change. Live your life with time to reflect, observe, just “be”. Patiently allow God to direct you, rather than taking matters into your own hands. You may discover a peace and…

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Meditate on God's Word 

Meditating is simply focused attention on one subject or thought, thinking deeply or carefully about it. Meditating has been shown to not only affect our mind but also our body. If we meditate on something positive and peaceful we can bring relaxation to our body. In the same way, if we worry (which is a form of meditating) we can induce stress and tension. This means all we have to do is change WHAT we meditate on to positively impact our psychological and physical health. 

Find a verse or passage of…

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Determine One Small Step 

Sometimes it seems worry is just too overwhelming to get control over.  It’s easier to just let our minds slip into the ruminating loop of worried thoughts. 

To make it more manageable ask yourself, “What is the one small thing I can do today to help me resolve my biggest worry?” Keep it simple and easy. For example, if you are worried about finding a job, a small step might be to spend one hour today starting on a resume. 

It might be that in asking this question you realize the situation is truly out of…

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Face Your Emotions 

Do you ever “check out” psychologically to avoid feeling an uncomfortable emotion? This is called dissociating and it is most likely what we do when we worry. We don’t want to face the feeling of fear or anxiety so we do the easier thing and worry instead. This gets us nowhere. In fact it only makes matters worse. What we really need to do is face our emotion head on to learn the coping skills necessary so worry doesn’t need to be our escape. 

Next time you notice yourself worrying, ask yourself what the…

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Trust God to Make a Way 

When we worry, it is like saying to God, “I don’t trust You to get me out of this situation so I need to come up with my own way in my own timing.” We are unknowingly trying to “play God”. 

The truth is God cares about you and many times will provide a way out of your circumstance that you would never think of on your own. Would the Israelites ever have thought God would part the sea to free them from the Egyptians? When a worry comes up, remind yourself of Biblical stories like this, and specific times in…

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Look for the Good 

In times of crisis and uncertainty we tend to get consumed by fear which quickly produces anxiety and worry. To ward this off, we need to look for all the good that is happening around us. This is going to take extra effort but it will be well worth it. 

Notice the people who are stepping up to the plate and doing good for others despite the hopeless or fearful situation. Let them inspire you. Maybe you can also go out of your way to encourage them. Exercise your trust and faith in God and praise Him for…

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Adapt to Change 

Life is always changing and if we don’t learn to change with it we will become a victim of overwhelming worry and stress. We can’t always control what happens around us but we can control how we react to it. Our natural tendency is to complain and look at all the ways change has negatively impacted our lives. What good is that going to do though? 

Look for new opportunities and unexpected blessings. What are some specific ways you can adapt and work with the change instead of fighting against it? A job…

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ALCW Summer Salad Supper

American Lutheran Church, 215 Ninth St. SE, Long Prairie, MN

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