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How to Control Worry

Excessive worry can harm you physically and emotionally. It might even lead to bigger problems than the problem you originally worried about.

Tips to limit worrying

  • Limit your intake of negative news. There is only so much you need to know about a crisis. Overexposure to calamitous reports will only heighten your feelings of fear and despair.

    Bible principle: “A crushed spirit saps one’s strength.”—Proverbs 17:22.

    “It’s easy to get addicted to the constant feed of what’s new and shocking, but that’s an unhealthy habit. My worry decreases significantly when I cut back on my intake of the news.”—John.

    To think about: How often do you really need to be updated on the news?

  • Stick to a routine. Try to wake up, eat meals, handle chores, and go to bed at set times. Having a schedule will preserve a sense of normalcy in your life and will help you to reduce your worries.

    Bible principle: “The plans of the diligent surely lead to success.”—Proverbs 21:5.

    “When the COVID-19 pandemic started, I completely neglected my routine and ended up spending too much time on entertainment. I wanted to make better use of my time, so I made a schedule for handling my daily responsibilities.”—Joseph.

    To think about: Do you have a routine that gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day?

  • Focus on the positive. Dwelling on what-ifs and imagining worst-case scenarios will only fuel your tendency to worry. Instead, think of two or three things for which you can be grateful.

    Bible principle: “Show yourselves thankful.”—Colossians 3:15.

    “Reading the Bible helps me avoid taking in the negative information and helps me focus on the positive. That might sound cliché, but it works!”—Lisa.

    To think about: Do you tend to dwell on the negative things going on in your life and filter out the positive?

  • Think of others. Rather than isolate yourself—which is all too easy to do if you are consumed with worry—think of how you can help those who are in need.

    Bible principle: “Look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.”—Philippians 2:4.

    “Doing things for others makes me happy. I’m creating good experiences for them, and at the same time, I’m reducing my worries. In fact, I just don’t have time left for worry.”—Maria.

    To think about: Of the people you know, which ones might have special needs, and what can you do to help them?

  • Stay healthy. Get sufficient exercise and rest. Eat healthy foods. Taking care of your physical health can improve your outlook on life and help you ward off worry.

    Bible principle: “Physical exercise is beneficial.”—1 Timothy 4:8, footnote.

    “My son and I cannot be as active outside as we would like, so we have made indoor exercise a part of our routine at home. This has helped us feel good about ourselves and even deal better with each other.”—Catherine.

    To think about: Do you need to improve your diet and exercise regimen so that you can be healthier?

In addition to applying these tips to reduce worry, many people have benefited from learning about the Bible’s reliable promises of a better future. See the article “What Will God’s Kingdom Accomplish?