Every time I read this quote, I am struck by its wisdom and accuracy. Personally, I tend to be a worrier. From a young age, I remember being told not to worry. And when I stop and think about just how unproductive worry is, and even how detrimental, I’m convinced that it should be a priority of mine to reduce worry – to take captive worrisome thoughts before letting them sprout into stress, only holding onto legitimate concerns. I’ve read that within our worries:
- 40% of the things we worry about will never occur.
- 30% of the time, we worry about things that have already happened.
- 12% of our worry is about needless imaginings about our health.
- 10% would be petty-little-nothing worries about what people think.
- 8%, “legitimate concerns.”
I’m not sure how these numbers were obtained or if they are at all accurate in my own life (or yours). But regardless, I’m sure that a very small percentage of my worry is legitimate concerns, and even less are things I can control or do anything about. Since I have 3 young children, and I live in the age of google, I am sure that I worry about “needless imaginings about health” more than 12%!. Which, ironically, affects my health. In fact, stress and worry can lead to distress, which can manifest physically and affect everything from weight/metabolism to heart health to mood. It can lead to headaches an upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, sexual dysfunction, problems sleeping, depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. It can worsen and is linked to heart disease, cancer lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and even suicide and mental illness.
Should I worry about all of this? Absolutely not. Each day I must take these thoughts captive. For me, I’ll pray. I’ll give them over to Someone I believe can handle them much better than I. I’ll exercise and physically release stress and worry. I’ll do my best to live in the moment and be truly thankful for my many blessings. I’ll enjoy this day, this moment, and feel strong today and tomorrow.
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