Worry will certainly shorten our lives if we are in a constant state of it. Medical professionals are well aware of this fact. It causes more than just failure after failure in the lives of many who seem to be unable to let go of their fears and ill will towards others. It also can be traced right down to the source of physical ailments and disease.
Peale tells us that the best way to live longer is to learn to stay calm, go to church and eliminate worry. He suggests that couples live longer than single people because when you are a couple the worry is divided but when you are single you are trying to manage it alone. Other factors that seem to contribute to living longer are things like getting to bed early and being early to rise, having a serene mind, getting a lot of fun out of life, doing all things in moderation, keeping busy, having faith in God plus eating lightly and simply.
The first step to breaking the worry habit is pretty simple. This is according to Peale, anyway. Believe that you can! Other steps to breaking the worry habit include practicing emptying your mind before you go to sleep. This is so that you don’t have your mind embedding your worries and fears more deeply into your subconscious. That impedes mental and spiritual flow. The last five minutes before falling asleep are said to be the most critical. During that time the thoughts you have will be carried into the subconscious. The thoughts you have in your mind during that time will solidify their power over you as you drift off if you allow them to persist.
How do you clear your mind? Well, how’s your creative visualization working these days?
We discover in this part of the book that if you literally picture your mind emptying of all worry and fear, kind of like water flowing out of a tea pot, that is a good start. It is suggested that you combine this image with a positive affirmation along the lines of, “with God’s help I am now free of all fear and worry,” or, “thank you God for allowing me to be free from my fears and worries.”
Do this process, at first, not only just before bed but at least twice more over the course of your day. It will help greatly if you go into a quiet place to do this for at least a five minute period. The word, “Imagination,” means, “Imaging.” If you imagine something in your mind long enough, some version of it will actualize in reality.
However, it is not enough just to empty your mind of fear and worry! The space left behind by fear or worry’s eviction from your mind must be filled with something more desirable. Thoughts of courage, hope, and expectancy would be good candidates here. Using positive affirmations would be a highly useful way of doing this.
For example; an affirmation like, “I am now protected by God,” would be a good one to start with. Other affirmations might include things like, “God is now filling me with lots of courage!” Or you could go with, “I am now making the right decisions thanks to the Lord’s help!”
If you fill your mind with faith you can force fear to leave. Why you ask? Because faith and fear don’t cohabitate well together. You can only have one or the other. Practice filling your mind with faith and you will be much better off. And remember, practice makes perfect! If you don’t put these ideas into action, they won’t work for you!
Peale recognizes that we all won’t just stamp out all thoughts of worry and fear so easily. So he suggests starting with the little worries and fears first. Remove the little stuff first by positive affirmation. If you take care of the little stuff first this will give you enough practice to handle the removal of the bigger worries and fears.
For example; if you currently think “I’m going to be late for the bus” replace that with the positive thought, “I’ll leave early enough to catch the bus on time!”
It is advised here that if you want to stay worry-free that you do your best to avoid worry-based conversations. If you find yourself stuck in one, than inject positive thoughts and ideas into the conversation. Turn it into something more positive!