By Rose Marie Barger
By Rose Marie Barger
From LearnToLive: an independent company offering online cognitive behavioral therapy programs and services.
Worry has many faces and it is common for each of us to experience it differently. The common trait of all worry is the “what-if” concern about the future, the churning over of unhelpful thoughts that produce no solutions. Whether your worry is something you have always had with you or a more recent addition to your life due to the coronavirus, there are several research-based tools you can use to get some relief. One of the tools is called Worry Time. It may sound strange, but it is surprisingly effective. Here are the basics:
1. Worry serves a function
It might feel like worry just happens, but research has shown that we often worry for a reason. Maybe we hope to find a solution to our problem, or we might feel like we are doing the responsible thing by worrying, or maybe we are trying to keep our mind off a more troubling concern. If we can find a reason to worry, maybe we can find a reason to not worry.
2. Put worry on a schedule
One way to worry less is to schedule 15-30 minutes of Worry Time each day during which you will focus only on your worries. If a worry shows up outside of your Worry Time, you simply make a note of it and get back to your life, reassured that you will get to the worry at the scheduled time. Then when the clock strikes Worry Time, you take out your list and focus on worrying.
3. It is okay to use a Worries List
Jotting down each worry on a list is a helpful exercise. The act of putting a concern on a list reassures your mind that it is not being neglected, that it WILL be taken care of during Worry Time. You will not forget it since it’s on the list. It takes the urgency out of worrying once you have reassured yourself that you can deal with it later.
4. It can serve as Solutions Time
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between trivial worries and worries that really require our attention. Worry Time allows us to evaluate our concerns, to get a sense of whether a worry is important or not. For worries that would benefit from our immediate attention, worry time can become Solutions Time. The feeling of accomplishment at having resolved a worry serves as a kind of reward, one that makes us more likely to commit to the next Worry Time.
5. The feelings might not show up
You might find that Worry Time comes but your worries do not. It is ok if you are no longer troubled by the things that seemed so concerning earlier in the day. That is quite common. If this happens to you, just smile, and move on. Worry often works that way.
Hi All! My friend, Nate Sutton, who is a pastor in Puyallup, WA, has created a podcast for his congregation discussing the gospel for each upcoming Sunday. This week, he interviewed me and we had a great discussion! Click here to listen to this episode.
Click here to access the liturgy: Lent Week 5 Home Liturgy.docx
By Pastor Dave Paulson
Under siege! Do you feel that way these days? Safely in our homes, but with the doors closed and all comers shut out for fear of the penetration of the enemy? Are we safe? And how long will this continue?
I confess I feel somewhat besieged in our current situation, and I think of what others through the ages have endured. Remember the story of Masada, when the Roman Legion besieged Jewish rebels in AD 70? At least at that time one could see the enemy — maybe that’s comforting, but then again, maybe not. What did people do in the time of the Black Plague? They had no idea how they got sick (it was the rat flea, a likely gift of the Vikings). To stay healthy they fled out of the cities and into the country (rats were still there — rats!). Then there were the plagues of smallpox and measles, once again of (originally) unknown vectors, infecting and killing millions in their day. Fortunately for us, the answers to these plagues have been discovered, and we can defend against them.
Now, however, while we know that Covid-19 is a virus, and we can treat the symptoms of infection, we cannot easily defend ourselves. Without sufficient medical support, we can but close our doors to others and avoid personal contact. We are besieged, and we know not for how long.
Unlike those scenaria previously cited, we can telephone our family and friends these days, watch TV, listen to our favorite music, read (I give thanks for Amazon books), or take walks in isolation knowing that we’re unlikely to get infected if we’re careful. But these things bring only qualified comfort. What shall we best do?
The greatest comfort available to us, and our greatest strength, becomes evident to us in scripture. The Introit (entrance Psalm) for Reformation Sunday has been a comfort to me for years: “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed and though the mountains be cast into the midst of the sea. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46) Other passages speak similarly:
*Ps 34:4: I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from
all my fears.
*Matt 6:25-26: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what
you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will
wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into
barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”
*And the voice from heaven in Revelation 21:3-4: And I heard a loud
voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among
mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his
peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear
from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain
will be no more, for the first things have passed away.
However strongly we may feel besieged, listen to God in his own words: “I have called you by name, you are mine!” God is faithful, and he listens to us and speaks with us. “Fear not, for I am with you.” Thanks be to God for this inestimable blessing!