Calling all overwhelmed, over anxious, or overly-bothered folks! Are you among those waiting for this year’s school schedule and concerned about teachers and classes? Caught in traffic and anxiety riddled because you’re already “running late”? Stressed over the bills that need to be paid – and how that is going to be accomplished? Emotionally exhausted by a reaction to someone or something that is getting under your skin?
Ahhhhh, the joys of tension. The thrill of hassles. Are you among the jittery and frazzled? There is help at hand!
I’ve heard it said that a day spent worrying is much more exhausting than a day spent working hard. Stresses can make us sick, bring us down emotionally and spiritually, and do a “number” on our feelings of self worth. It may feed our fears our doubts. It may bring anger or antagonism where there need be none. In short- it’s not good for us or anyone else.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell once taught that “Over-anxiety….is like pulling up the daisies to see how the roots are doing, checking up on the sentries so incessantly that they become trigger-happy, and wringing one’s hands instead of folding them in prayer.” [Wherefore We Must Press Forward, p.63.]
While our anxiety is kicking into gear about the rude driver, the length of time it’s taking a cashier to handle our transaction, or the local church leader who said such-and-such, we step away from a safety net provided by our Savior who teaches us to “be of good cheer.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley was a brilliant example of optimism and good equilibrium. His counsel to never take offense where none was intended is great advice. It is another form of going to a state of needless anxiety or upset.
I know that when I’ve reacted to a driver, a pedestrian, too many bills, or what might be coming down the pike, my joy factor has temporarily tanked. My good cheer took a vacation, if even for a short while. And when I have assumed- and wrongly on some occasions- that someone was personally snubbing me or causing hassles in my life, my personal flower garden – as Elder Maxwell pointed out- has suffered. Anxiety or sadness may have caused me to lose out of some precious moments of gladness that were right in front of me.
Such a waste! On the other hand, there is help for us, if we want it. Here is the simple truth of the matter: Let go of all the silly things that do not matter in the long run. • Leaving a few minutes early can relieve anxiety of running late in traffic.
• Does it matter if you wait another couple of days for the class schedule?
• Bills are like taxes… they’re always going to be there. Calling in to discuss payment arrangements may help in the monthly budget.
• In this time of financial crunch, being grateful for what we do have might take the sting out of cutting back so much.
• Recognizing that we’re all dealing with some kind of life battle, we’re more apt to give the other person the benefit of the doubt – saving mental energy as we reduce bother!
• Focus on a long-term perspective when something bothersome comes up.
• Think: “Will this matter tomorrow? A month from now? A year from now?” If not, it’s probably not worth worrying over.
We’re not speaking here of disorders that require medical care. These thoughts are about those times when we may too easily have our feathers ruffled or our equilibrium tossed. In little ways, we may bring a great deal more sunshine into our lives. And I dare say, into the lives of those who love us.
In very real terms, from “small and simple things, great things (can come) to pass.” [Alma 37:6]
Our Father in Heaven wants us to be joyful. He wants us to trust Him. He will help us in all things – even with those little anxieties that impact our day in a negative way!