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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Worry Jar

My mind is too full to remember if I have written a post explaining my Worry Jar or not, and truly, I'm too lazy to go back and look. Most of you who visit my blog now didn't a few months ago, so what's the harm in writing again...

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows me to find out that I am a chronic worrier. I have been since I was little. The dentist was something that I [along with tons of other kids] dreaded and the reason was mostly because I didn't want the dentist to pull any of my loose teeth out. I pulled all my own teeth out [except 1 that my teacher tricked me into pulling out for me], and I didn't want the dentist to take over. This fear of the dentist, coupled with my worrying, created a horrible combination that started in about June of each summer, and lasted until my August dental appointment. I would worry constantly, and this would hinder the enjoyment of the main two months of my summer! Looking back 15 years later, obviously I want to slap myself silly for letting anything get in the way of my summers. But back then, I was really traumatized.

One year, my mom had a brilliant idea. I can't remember if she made it up herself, or if she read about it or heard it on Oprah. Who knows... but the advice was brilliant. The Worry Jar was born.

The idea is simple. Write your worries down on little slips of paper and put them into a jar or container. Come back whenever you think about it [not 10 minutes later; I'm talking more like a month or something] and look through your worries again. Chances are, there will be several slip of paper that have come and passed, and you are still alive, still healthy, and your worries never amounted to anything. So then you can rip them up and throw them away! Repeat with new worries.

This worked on so many things over the years; things all the way from "I'm worried about my math test," "I'm worried about dancing at State for dance," and "I'm worried I'll never get a boyfriend," [yes, that one graced my worry jar once or ten times...], to "I'm worried about getting into the Nursing program," and "I'm worried about Matt going to Iraq." There are still pieces of paper in my worry jar back home, and I'm curious to see what I can rip up when I get back.

There is something therapeutic about writing your worries down and visually confirming them. Writing them down doesn't make them go away really, but it seems like by writing them down, you take them from your mind and heart and put them on the paper, where they seem to haunt/taunt you less. At least that's how it works for me. I will probably have my worry jar in use until I'm 105.

Go ahead and give it a try if you are prone to excessive worrying like me. Even if you are a casual worrier, it can help to ease the stress in your heart and mind about whatever is causing you to worry. Also, couple the worry jar with the quote I posted in the previous post, and you've got a combo capable of making your days SO MUCH BRIGHTER.

"Worry about nothing; pray about everything."

If you try the worry jar, let me know how it works for you.

Love Rules,

1 comment:

  1. This is so true Laura! I worry like nobody's business, and usually when I worry it escalates the problem. When we write down the worries though I think it gives a reality check as well, like maybe in my mind I was making it into a bigger deal than it should've been. I find it so hard sometimes to let God take those worries though, I'm a control freak and love feeling the "control" over my worries. But I love that quote worry about nothing pray about everything, because in reality God is the only one that can really handle or control all those worries :) Great post and a great reminder!


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