Dear Readers,

Most of us spend an incredible amount of time worrying. We worry about our jobs, our health and our finances. We worry about not meeting our deadlines, about not waking up to our alarm clocks, about being late for our meetings. We even worry about our plane crashing.

In one study, parents were found to have spent a whopping 37 hours a week worrying about their children. That’s almost a full-time job! Women were found to generally worry more than men and often about interpersonal relationships.

Men and women alike also wrongly think that worrying helps us avoid disaster.

The truth is that some worry is good for us. Productive or instructive worry is when we take actual steps to solve our problems. So, for example, if we spent some of those 37 hours thinking about constructive ideas of how to better our children’s education and development—and then implement specific action in that direction in our day-to-day schedules—that would be productive.

But most worry is not constructive. In fact, often we worry not about a situation we are currently undergoing, but one that we fear we might need to face at some time in our future. So, right now, I may be able to pay all my bills at the end of each month, but what will happen if one day I find myself in the red? Or, right now I am managing with my health, but how will I cope in the future if my knees deteriorate?

Here’s what the Rebbe writes about worry: “You have the choice whether to worry if the blessing will or won’t materialize—and when it finally does you will be doubly burdened as to why you wasted so much energy worrying in vain—or you may choose to be strong in your faith and trust that G‑d will lead you on the straight path and fulfill your needs. Then you will be able to say: ‘Look how well I handled the situation that I didn’t worry about things there was no reason to worry about.’”

The Rebbe also writes: Faith is not something that is meant to remain only in one’s thoughts; it must permeate the whole of one’s life. Now, think this over. G‑d promises, “I will sustain and deliver you.” Now consider: Is G‑d really in need of your worry as to how He is going to run your affairs and solve your problems? Or will He succeed in finding good solutions even without your worrying? (Igrot Kodesh, vol. 4, p. 256)

There’s really no point in worrying for worry’s sake. Instead, let’s take constructive steps to change or improve things that we can, and for those things out of our control, let’s develop our faith in G‑d’s goodness.

Here’s to a worry-free week!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW