Plan a 'Worry Hour' to Help Ease Anxiety

If you have difficulty letting go and letting God, try this.

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Plan a 'Worry Hour' to Help Ease Anxiety

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” —Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

Worrying. I think I got it from my dad. “If I’m not worrying,” he used to say, “I don’t feel normal!”

A few years ago, during an especially stressful time, I admitted to a friend that worry was robbing me of sleep, distracting me from important work, even invading my relationship with the Lord.

My friend told me about a technique her own father had developed to conquer worry. “Dad set up a daily ‘Worry Hour,”’ she explained. “When anxieties nagged at him during the day, he jotted them down and promised himself he’d deal with them at five P.M., when he’d set aside a full, focused hour to do nothing but worry. But he never actually got around to worrying. At five o’clock each afternoon he’d look at his Worry List and think: This is ridiculous! What good will it do to spend an hour feeling miserable? And he’d throw away his list. He claims he hasn’t wasted five minutes worrying since then.”

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That afternoon I started my own Worry List, promising myself that if the items on the list still seemed worth it at five o’clock, I’d do some high-octane worrying. Guess what? When five rolled around I was just like my friend’s dad—having such a good day that I couldn’t bring myself to spoil it! So I prayed instead, leaving my worries exactly where they belonged: in the Lord’s capable Hands.

If you’re worried about something right now, why not set aside your own “Worry Hour.” Then pray:

Lord, today I’m going to write down my worries instead of letting them control and ruin my day. Then, at five P.M., I’ll decide whether they’re better off in my hands—or in Yours.

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