There’s a strange thing about worry.
It’s this: we aren’t fully convinced we should resist it.
Worry seems like a fitting response to a situation. We think it shows how much we understand the gravity of a problem. It proves we are taking it seriously.
Worrying can even feel like a constructive thing to do.
Without realizing it, some of us are subconsciously saying to ourselves:
“I may not be able to do anything, but at least I can be really concerned, which acknowledges a real problem and shows my sympathy and who knows? It might help, or bring about a resolution. At least I won’t be surprised by anything bad that happens.”
Worry Makes Things Worse, Not Better
Unfortunately—as we all have experienced—the situation will not be changed or improved by worry.
Instead, worrying makes things worse.
It doesn’t support good habits, it doesn’t get us to bed early, it doesn’t encourage peaceful prayer, it doesn’t soothe digestion, it doesn’t support heart health. Nor does it make us pleasant to be around.
This isn’t meant to downplay anxiety. Families are facing very real problems and even crises.
But the awful thing is that worry increases the weight of our burdens—and people with massive burdens don’t need anything to make them heavier.
Hard as it is to hear, it’s important to remember that we are never in control. Only God is.
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs.
St. Isaac Jogues
We aren’t “in control”—we can’t force results from any circumstance—but we aren’t helpless.
So what can we do when we feel anxious?
Here are thirteen small (but real) things you can do when feelings of anxiety wash over you.