Why Saying “Stop Worrying!” Doesn’t Work & What To Do Instead

Ever heard that phrase?

I’d like to smack each person who lets that sneak out of their mouth! Though they mean well, you cannot psych yourself out of worry. But let me tell you how you CAN wipe worry away. This technique really works!

I talked to a lady recently who was worried that she would never find “Mr. Right”. She convinced herself there were no more good men out there. And she thought if she did find one, he wouldn’t be interested in her. Way to sabotage yourself lady!

It took me a while, but I eventually convinced her that she needed to shift her focus from worrying toward something else. Know what? It worked. She hasn’t found “Mr. Right”, but she has stopped worrying. And she is no longer miserable. Mission accomplished!

Here’s what worrying did to that lady and what it does to YOU:

So with a list like that, why would anyone choose to worry? It’s because they don’t know what else to do. You can’t just stop worrying.  That is only the first step to wiping worry away. Most people stop there and that’s why they can’t stop worrying.

The second step is this: You have to replace worry with something else.

With what you say? Other thoughts. Here are some ideas:

  • Think about an activity that you really enjoy.
  • Distract yourself with a task.
  • Remind yourself “this” is temporary.
  • Think about God’s promises.
  • Say encouraging things to yourself like, “I am going to make it.”  “I will be ok in the end.”
  • Go over hope-filled scriptures in your head (“I can do all things through Christ because He strengthens me.” Phil 4:13)
  • Talk to someone else about their problems so your can get your mind off yours!
  • Sing a happy song.
  • Better yet, sing a Praise song!
  • Remember God’s peace is available, take it!

The best thought replacer of them all is to think about God. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

You might be thinking, “Isn’t replacing my thoughts just a way of denying what is going on?” No, God is not asking us to live in a state of denial. He is asking us to live in a state of acceptance. Accepting his peace displaces your worry.

So stop your worrying by replacing the worry with other thoughts. And the more God-thoughts, the better! If you can do this, you really will STOP WORRYING!

What do you think? If this info has helped you, let us know. Share your experiences with worry. Leave your comments below!

24 Responses to “Why Saying “Stop Worrying!” Doesn’t Work & What To Do Instead”

  1. Elizabeth Verner

    So true Pastor Linda, you are right on! I’ve learned to do this years ago and I could tell you I live a worry free life. Sure there are times when I might catch myself over thinking a situation, but I soon remind myself that worrying never helps and I turn it over to God.
    Singing praise songs definitely plays a major role in keeping me from worrying. Not only does it lift my spirit but it brings me closer to God.
    Great advice ~ Thanks 🙂

    • Linda

      You Go Girl! You are an inspiration in so many things…and now you can help others learn how to stop worrying! Love ya!

  2. John

    Great post, thanks for sharing. One thing to keep in mind when working out, hiking, or just working outside is to stay hydrated. A good water bottle is the best way keep a nice cold drink near by.

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  4. Raquel Rios

    Thank you for this post. I know very well what you are talking about. Years ago I was diagnosed with depression, agoraphobia, anxiety and panic attacks. One of the major things that I struggled with was and I say was because I now know to deal with it was worry. I would stay up at night and I would worry to a point that I would get physically ill. In the end I would always see the hand of God taking care of the situation and I would tell myself I worried for nothing. I’m not going to say that sometimes those feeling try to creep back into my life but now I know how to handle it. I no longer worry about things that I don’t have control over, I hand it over to God and let Him sort it out for me. If it’s something I could control I’m immediately on it to get it resolved. All the tips that you posted about how to replace your worry with other things are very helpful. I personally like to sing and praise the Lord and I forget all about the situation. Thank you for posting, very good information for those who are struggling with this. BTW It really bothered me when people would tell me stop worrying I would say to myself “oh great, now this person is telling me how I should feel, great”.

    • Linda

      Raquel, You are right on! Keep it up and you will live worry-free for the rest of your life! Great job!

  5. Elvia

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