Everyone in their lives have ups and downs; some periods are smooth and fun others are challenging and even worrying; financial setbacks, health issues, relationship issues there is always something to worry about.
Disclaimer: I am not talking about people with medical or psychological issues but normal people with normal everyday life problems and worries. How can people deal with worries in the best possible way?
Firstly I will start off by defining worry as: anxiety, perturbation, distress, concern, uneasiness, unease, disquiet, fretfulness, restlessness, nervousness, nerves, agitation, edginess, tension, stress etc. Thinking about how to achieve a goal or to prevent a loss is a normal human necessity and is not a worry unless it starts to cause anxiety or distress.
Some worries are totally useless like worrying about events in the past or events in the present or future over which one has no control and where there is no fallout to the person.
Thinking about how to improve one’s physical, material, spiritual state and that of people around is a good thing, it only becomes a worry if it becomes an anxiety.
What can a person do if they start to become anxious and worry about a problem or imagined problem that they have?
According to King Solomon one of the smartest people who ever lived in his Book of Proverbs (12:25): "Anxiety in a man's heart dejects him ('yaschena'), but a good word gladdens him."
The sages explain (Yoma 75a): "Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Yose - one says that the word 'yaschena' means to divert one’s thoughts; the other says that it means to speak of one’s worries with others."
Ideally a person should have enough discipline and self-control to be able to stop one’s mind from thinking along a certain path. God commands: ‘don’t go after your heart and your eyes...’ (Numbers 15:39). The Rabbis explained as not entertaining thoughts of idolatry and immorality.
The first explanation of King Solomon’s advice is to control one’s mind from focusing on a worry and blocking that thought from entering it. This seems to be good advice for those who have reached a high level of discipline in their lives however for most everyone the second route advocated seems to be the easier one.
Speak one’s worries out to: a spouse, relative, friend, advocate, therapist anyone who can: help you find a solution to the problem; or can put the problem into perspective; or can empathize with you and make you feel better.
Ideally, a person should raise their trust in God to the point that they truly believe that after taking all humanly possible steps to make things happen to to avoid trouble God will help and you know what? He usually does!