Dealing with worries

We all have worries about our life. 

These may be worries that we get occasionally, or we may feel overwhelmed by them.

They may be about money, work or study; what we have, or what we don’t have; friends, family, partners and anyone else around us, or because we don’t have these connections; because we have too much going on, or because we aren’t or can’t do so much.

Sometimes we may feel like words such as anxiety and depression better describe how these worries are making us feel, and we hear a lot about many different ways that may help, like using mindfulness and coping strategies. Its great if you find these things helpful, and there are further resources in the “Music, Books and Links” section that you may also find useful.

This section of the guide aims to help you deal with these worries, however big, or small or however many of them you have.

You may also find the section in “Light in your Life” about worries useful too.

The stories may help to give the text further meaning for you.

Jump to Stories

Mindset

  • Naming your emotions can be effective for making them feel less intense – for example “I’m feeling scared, irritated, worried…” 12
  • A study showed that those who thought well on others as they walked passed them (such as “I wish for this person to be happy”) felt happier, more connected, caring and empathetic, as well as less anxious. This was in contrast to those who were asked to think of similarities they may have when they saw other people, and those who were asked to think of how they may be better off than each of the people they passed 11

Other People

  • Try your best in what you think and what you do, both for yourself and towards others

Possessions

  • Don’t  worry about the food or drink you need to live, or about the clothes you need for your body. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes 1
  • You cannot add any time or value to your life by worrying about it 1
  • Those who try to hold on to their lives, such as worrying about money, possessions and status, are giving up the Light in their life that continues on 1

Intentions and Actions

  • No school child can get through all lessons perfectly. It is the same with all lives. So act with compassion and consider intentions, and try to help others constructively when they struggle 9
  • Try not to feel exasperated, defeated or despondent because your days aren’t packed with wise and moral actions. But get back up when you fail, celebrate behaving like a human—however imperfectly—and fully embrace the pursuit you’ve embarked on 10

Wider World

  • There is more joy where life continues on for a person who changes their heart and life towards trying their best in what they think and what they do, and asks for forgiveness, than over 99 people who don’t need to change 3

Stories

The Farmer

There was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbours came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “May be,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbours exclaimed. “May be,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses. He was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbours again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “May be,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbours congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “May be,” said the farmer 5

Repercussions

What about those people who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think they did more wrong than others? No, I tell you 3