If worry is weighing you down, I’m confident the CALM technique that my friend Barb Roose shares below will be a helpful tool for you. Barb is the author of Winning the Worry Battle, and she offers great advice in today’s guest post.
Have you worried about someone or something so much that you became physically sick? When I was in high school, I taught myself how to worry. Whenever I was stressed out about tests or classes, I’d think about everything that could go wrong and then I’d come up with a plan to handle those worst-case scenarios. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I trained myself to do what author Lenore Skenazy calls “worst-first thinking.” Unfortunately, I became an expert in “worst-case thinking.” As a result, I struggled with worry for many years — resulting in many stressed out days and sleepless nights.
On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (all the time), how often do you worry? By definition, the word “worry” means to torment one’s self with or suffer from disturbing thoughts. I love the writer’s observation in Proverbs 12:25: “Worry weighs a person down.” This is so true! Not only does worry wear us down, but worry can wear our bodies out! When we can’t turn off those horrible mental movies, our bodies suffer. Worry or anxiety can cause headaches, upset stomach, uncontrollable nervousness, crying, racing heartbeat, sweaty palms and sleeplessness. All of these physical symptoms can cause real damage to the precious bodies that God has given to us. (By the way, if these symptoms are interfering with your life, it’s a good idea to contact your healthcare provider and let them know.)
So what can you do when your heart, mind and body is overwhelmed by worry? Is it possible to learn how to overcome destructive worried thinking and move in a more healthy and helpful direction? The answer is yes!
In Winning the Worry Battle, I share my CALM technique that I use whenever I start obsessing about worst-case scenarios. This technique slows down my racing heart and other physical symptoms of worry and helps me to reconnect with God.
I use the CALM technique when I can’t find my keys or I’m running late. The CALM Technique is handy when I get a larger-than-expected estimate for car repair or when my 17-year-old daughter is driving out of town on her own. Since I believe that the difference between worry and worship is who I’m talking to, then my best chance to win over worry happens when I stay connected to God’s power and acknowledge His presence in my life.
Here’s how to do the CALM Technique:
Step 1: Count of five by inhaling on the number and exhaling the word Mississippi.
Step 2: Acknowledge God’s presence by saying “God, I know that You are here with me right now.”
Step 3: List where you need God’s help.
Step 4: Meditate and repeat the following: “God is here and He will take care of me/this.”
If the difference between worry and worship is who you are talking to, the CALM Technique helps you move toward God and lean into His power instead of spinning off into the chaotic world of worry.
God knows that you’re facing stress over uncertainty. He knows that you’re struggling with financial problems, health concerns, adult children making bad decisions and marriage crisis. God doesn’t want you to torture yourself with “worst-first thinking.” He wants us to come to Him for help. One of my favorite verses is 1 Peter 5:7, which says: “Give all of your worries and cares to God because he cares about you.” Not only does God care about you, but He promises to take care of you! What worries and cares do you need to give to God today?
There will always be something for you to worry about, but you can learn how to win over the worries in your life!
Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God, helping them apply the truths of God’s Word to the practical realities and challenges they face as women in today’s culture. Barb enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country and internationally.
She is the author of the Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty Bible studies and the books Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. She also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com and hosts the “Better Together” podcast. Barb and her husband, Matt, live in Toledo, Ohio, and are the parents of three beautiful daughters.