Dear Dr. Johnson: I’m Worried!

Advice and options on how to deal with the rut of life problems that almost everyone is exposed to at one time or another

Time to Spring Clean your Life's Ruts

Dear Dr. J: My life seems to have become a long strain of worries and troubles lately. In the words of Roseanne Barr, I am a domestic goddess with a son in school and a  husband who can be very bothersome at times. Between my son’s school problems and my husband’s problems at work, I have become constantly troubled and no doubt very hard to get along with. Can you help me? – Rosalee – N.B.

Dear Rosalee,

I do have some suggestions, especially since you are not alone at being troubled by life and its everyday dread. I hope these suggestions help you:

1. TRY NOT TO BE SO TROUBLED BY CHOICE.

As hard as it may be to accept, we decide through free choice how much we let something trouble us, and often those troubles are of our own making. It is often easier and more natural to step into an emotional cave and wander closer to the greatest darkness.

Stay in the light.

Watch something funny, talk to a friend who is uplifting, find a good cookie and read a good book.

An unfortunate truth is that there is always someone who follows you, and they will either go towards the light or the opposite way of darkness according to your leads, depending on which way you decide to go. The fact is that things are never as bad as we think, and all our emotions are dependent on our perceptions determined by whether we see the glass half empty or half full.

“I’m not going to let this get me down,” is often a good focus, even when things look pretty bleak. Be aware that 90% of what we worry about never actually happens.

2. LOOK FOR A REALISTIC ANSWER.

Just because you shouldn’t let worry overcome you, doesn’t mean you should ignore your problem. There is always something or someone who has a suggested answer. Pick your resources and make certain they are good and worthwhile, whether it be a counselor, friend, pastor, or some other type of outside help. Remember the farther you have gone into your own personal cave, the harder a job the light has to penetrate the darkness.

3. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR THINKING.

Thoughts of revenge or anger can greatly interfere with your search for a solution to your problem. Promise yourself that you are not going to sit in depression, but that you honestly want a solution that everyone can live with. Take mastership of your reactions, and dont let your mind or your body make the decisions for you. Look instead at your heart and what you know to be right. Discipline yourself to find an answer that will bring you peace.

4. STEP BACK AND GET A GOOD PERSPECTIVE.

Get away from the fray. Gather your perspective of what is happening by being by yourself and gathering silence around you. Leave the emotion of anger or confusion and speak of yourself and others with love. Step back, get your nose out of your troubles and look at them with your spirit. Ask for guidance and wait for answers.

I hope these suggestions help. Let me know how things work out.

Dr. Keith Johnson

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