Worry vs Concern

“Worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.”

– Life Application Bible (New Revised Standard)

One of the primary topics of conversation I have on a daily basis is around the mindset of worry. No doubt, there are a lot of opportunities for us to worry. You can look at any form of news media, and it will give you more than enough information to consume your thinking with doom and gloom. Everything from the local and national debt, to the unemployment rate, to the increase in crime and drug addiction. Webster defines worry as “mental distress or agitation as a result of extreme concern.” The negative impact of unchecked worry can have many implications on an individual. Worry can impact our health, consume our thinking, interfere with our relationships and how we treat others, decrease our productivity, and interfere with our willingness to trust God. What causes us to worry? There are many factors that may cause thoughts to plunge into worry. Many times it is the “what ifs. . .” and the fear of the unknown future that causes the greatest amount of distress. We find our selves out of our comfort zone, and the threat of some type of doom begins to paralyze us.
Recently, I was working with someone who described worry as treading water with weights around his waist, fearing that he would succumb to the weight of his task and drown. As we worked at dissecting the concerns he was facing, we differentiated between genuine concern and irrational thoughts. We developed a plan to address the concerns and contain the irrational thinking. Recognizing how quickly he could slip back into the throws of worry, we implemented physical, mental and spiritual exercises that he would practice each day. He would intentionally focus on living one day at a time, and not project into future “what ifs”.

Will you choose to separate the concern from your worry?

Sincerely, Kevin Polky, CADC,LCSW