Chronic worrying can be most harmful to your health

| February 12, 2016 | 0 Comments
Horatio Spafford, author of the hymn "It is Well with My Soul."

Horatio Spafford, author of the hymn “It is Well with My Soul.”

Chaplain (Capt.) James Fryer
84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

As the majority of 2016 remains, there is ample opportunity to reflect on goals and plans to strategize how you can help yourself to evaluate self-levels of worry this year.

“…. Worrying can affect the body in ways that may surprise you. When worrying becomes excessive, it can lead to feelings of high anxiety and even cause you to be physically ill … Chronic worrying can affect your daily life so much that it may interfere with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits, such as overeating, smoking or using alcohol and drugs.” —

It is not any indication of weakness if you realize you need to do a “roadside check” to see how things are going, or to actually admit that you need to change. In other words, at times, every soul needs to pause and reflect on concerns of the heart.

These matters can consume the inner life of an individual causing physical symptoms to arise. These can be warning signs of something beneath the surface.

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” — Matthew 6:21

If you have worries that wear on you over present or future matters, beware that such anxieties do not take their toll on you. Without proper self-care, matters of the heart, such as attitude, perception, emotional or mental health may become worn down.

Certainly, many things compete for our attention every day. As temptations to worry occur, one may find the need for spiritual direction. Be careful of making the temporary things you pursue, acquire, rent or pay for the treasures of your heart.

The shiny and enticing materials, even advancements or pleasures of the world can ensnare your heart and keep you from all that is.

The old hymn “It is Well with My Soul” was written by Horatio Spafford in 1873.

 The SS Ville du Havre. colliding with the sailing ship Lockhearn.

The SS Ville du Havre. colliding with the sailing ship Lockhearn.

Spafford was financially ruined by the 1871 Great Chicago Fire and had failed at a significant business proposition. He sent his wife and four daughters on ahead of him to Europe by ship, on a luxury steamer, the Ville du Havre. In the middle of the Atlantic, the ship collided with a British sailing ship, the Lockhearn.

In 12 minutes, the steamer sank with 226 lives lost. The wife of Spafford, Anna, was rescued from a piece of floating debris, but their four daughters drowned. While planning to travel to meet her, Spafford received a horrible telegram from his wife stating, “Saved alone.”

Crossing the Atlantic to be with his wife, Spafford penned the words to the beloved hymn, giving an expression of his faith.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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