It may seem obvious for you to want to choose between joy or worry, but the choice you make includes the side effects that come with each.

Have you watched those pharmaceutical ads on TV?

The beginning of the ad shows someone experiencing a painful condition, usually described in an acronym like AF, COPD, PD. (Who can keep up?) Then after taking whatever pill, they show a happy person living a more vibrant life.

But under the cheerful images, you hear all the possible side effects that sound WAY worse than the disease. The last side-effect usually ends in… may cause death. Eek!

Joy and worry have their side effects too.

The Side Effects when You Choose Worry

Worry’s side effects come in the form of anxiety, fear, stress, lack of confidence, depression, and paralysis – not being able to move forward.

The definition in my trusty Random House Dictionary describes worry as: to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts.

When put in those terms, do you really choose to worry?

No wonder Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.” Matthew 6:34

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow for Tomorrow Will Bring Worries of Its Own

I am a big advocate of meditation. Meditation is not the absence of thought. Meditation is to think on something. When you meditate on Scripture, you are thinking on God’s Word and taking that Word to heart.

But when you worry, you are thinking on all the possible things that could go wrong, which could lead to spiraling down a rabbit hole of worse case scenarios.  

When You Choose Worry You Miss Out on Joy

When you worry, you are missing the joy in the present moment. The present moment is all we have.

The past is past, and the future is not here.

This doesn’t mean not to be concerned for yourself or someone you love. That involves care and compassion, not worry.

It also means trusting God for all of your needs and those of your loved ones. We are promised in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

The section of Matthew 6:25-34 is worth referring to when worry starts to creep in. We are reminded that, “your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things,” those things in meeting our daily needs.

The Side Effects when You Choose Joy

Joy’s side effects are peace and a feeling of lightness in your body, mind, and spirit. We can trust in the words of Jesus in John 15:11, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”

There is joy in a new day and a new start. There is joy in a sunrise or sunset, a deer that you see on a walk that meets you eye-to-eye. There is joy when you take a sacred pause to acknowledge how much you are loved by God and that God will never leave you nor forsake you.

So, choose joy over worry.

If you find your mind in an endless loop of worry, meditation is a great way to transform those anxious thoughts into peace. These meditations were created to think on and experience God’s peace and loving presence.

Want to live your life with greater joy and flow? Check out The Four Steps to FLOW.