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91 Percent of What We Worry About Never Happens

So, you’re trying to sleep, and it’s well after bedtime. But you’re tossing and turning and unable to get comfy. You notice you’re replaying the same scenario in your head. Some vision of tomorrow, of what might happen, how a hope could be dashed. If you’ve had this experience, you’re far from alone.

Researcher Lucas LaFreniere, Ph.D. said, “This is what breaks my heart about worry. It makes you miserable in the present moment to try and prevent misery in the future. For chronic worriers, this process leads them to be continually distressed all their lives in order to avoid later events that never happen. Worry sucks the joy out of the ‘here and now.’”

In his study on worry, participants were asked to record their worries and how they caused distress and interfered with their lives. Each night at 10 pm, they reported how much time they spent thinking on each specific worry throughout the day. Then, 20 days after that period, they reviewed each entry and reported whether any of the worries had become true.

The good news is, LaFreniere’s study found that in his survey of worrisome people, 91.4 percent of their worries never actually happened.

Worrying caused only more misery and did nothing to help the worriers handle whatever they had been worrying about. This is mainly because the hotly anticipated events never transpired. Remember what Jesus said: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-34).

Possible Preaching Angle: The only true antidote to worry is to trust in our “Heavenly Father who knows exactly what we need” (Matthew 6:32) and “to cast all our worries onto him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Sources: CJ Green, “Sunday Scaries” MBird.com (8-9-19); Sarah Sloat, “Researchers Prove That What You're Worried About Isn't Likely to Come True” Inverse (8-4-19)

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