Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O Lord—how long?
Have you ever been worried sick? To the point where you were physically ill? If you have, then you know all too well the anxious and uncomfortable fluttering of your heart, the stomach issues, the overwhelming fatigue, and the vulnerability of catching every bug out there.
Believe it or not, chronic worry can make us sick.
Today on the blog, I’d like to introduce my long-time friend, Ann Miller, to shed some light on how worry truly does affect our health. Ann is a BioIndividual Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in Autism & ADHD, food allergies & intolerance, fitness nutrition coaching, supplementation and more.
She is not only an expert in the nutrition arena, she is also a devoted Christian wife, mom, and friend. I asked Ann to answer a few specific questions for us regarding chronic worry and our overall well-being.
So, without further delay, here is my interview with Ann:
Jen: As most of us can testify, worry affects everyone from time to time. However, chronic worry can wreak havoc on a person’s health. From your experience, Ann, how does persistent worry damage or have an impact on a person’s well-being?
Ann: Chronic worry, stress, and anxiety releases extra cortisol, which in turn affects our metabolism and immune system. When our metabolism is affected, we feel fatigued and run down. That’s when stubborn belly fat creeps in and makes us feel even worse—emotionally and physically. When our immune system is affected, we are susceptible to catching every nasty germ that is around us. All these factors accumulate to create a truly vicious cycle that seems never-ending.
Jen: What are some signs that worry is having a negative impact on our health?
Ann: Restlessness, a lack of sleep, emotional eating, (or not eating at all), irritability, stomach issues, and headaches are some of the most prominent symptoms of chronic worry.
Jen: What are some key physical things we can do to diminish the effects of worry?
Ann: Physical exercise is always great. Walking, running, lifting—any physical exertion. The endorphins released are amazing!!!
Jen: Is there a natural supplement you recommend? What is the main benefit of this particular supplement?
Ann: My #1 recommended supplement is always a probiotic. Many think probiotics are only good for tummy troubles, but there is a distinctive gut/brain connection. If the gut isn’t healthy, no part of the body is. And remember, supplementation is wonderful, but it all starts with proper nutrition! (Read more about probiotics here.)
Jen: Thank you for that, Ann. I’m very interested in the connection between the gut and brain. It’s something I’m going to look into for sure. Now, please give us some of your favorite Scriptures when it comes to worry.
Ann: My favorites to help ease worry are…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jen: All of these verses apply so well! But I want to focus specifically on Matthew 11:28-30. I love these words of Jesus. They remind us of His gentleness and His invitation to rest in Him. Looking up the definition of “yoke,” I found this:
a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull…
If you’ll allow me a bit of creativity here, this definition reminds me of the wooden cross Jesus bore, along with the entire weight of the world’s sin on His shoulders. When He says in Matthew 11 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, that tells me He is willing to carry my burdens, my worries, and my labors. All of my striving and stressing needs to stop. There is perfect rest under the “yoke” of Jesus.
Ann, can you give us a little bit of insight on the importance of rest? What is an adequate amount of rest for maintaining optimal health?
Ann: I highly recommend 8 hours of sleep per night, with a minimum of 6.
Jen: What would be your #1 ACTION TIP for putting worry into perspective?
Ann: Stop and think about your worry. Is it truly an immediate issue or is it a possibility? Can you truly change what is happening? If so, make a list of possible action steps to take. If you can’t, bless and release. No matter which way it goes, ALWAYS pray!
Jen: I love that! “Bless and release”…what a beautiful phrase for us to remember. Boy, I think we could write an entire blog post on the meaning of that…
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us “worriers”?
Ann: Often, when something is worrying us, we tend to keep it inside. We may think, Who else cares about what I’m going through? I’ll just take care of it myself. This can create a negative mood that not only affects us but everyone around us. I am very guilty of this. However, this way of thinking causes negative effects on us as we bottle it up. And ultimately, it wreaks havoc on us both physically and emotionally. Share what’s going on with someone else. Ask for prayer. Find an ear to listen. This person may not have the answer, but they will have a shoulder to lean on and words of encouragement.
Jen: Many, many thanks to you, Ann Miller, for offering us a genuine and informative glimpse into how worry affects our health. You and I have had many conversations about stress and health. I truly appreciate your expertise!
Truly, this amazing lady has helped me think differently about nutrition, lose weight, and has been a great support. This is someone you can turn to for nutritional advice and solid direction!
Again, here are the links to learn more about Ann:
As we move forward in 2018…
I’m excited to inform you of my newly revised women’s Bible study, Prayer Worrier: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer. For the first time, this study will be available in print! Yippee!
It’s an 8-week study that includes Biblical truths, powerful testimony, thoughts to ponder, questions to discuss, daily devotions, and of course, powerful prayers.
For a limited time, I am giving complete FREE access to this study for anyone who requests a copy via email. I will send the entire 8-week study in a PDF document for you to print and use in your small group or for your own personal use. The only thing I ask in exchange is that you leave an honest review on Amazon once the book is published and ready for purchase.
I’ll show you exactly where to leave your review and provide a quick link to the Amazon review page. All you’ll need to do is go through the study and leave a quick review when finished. (You’ll even let Amazon know you received a FREE copy in exchange for your review, so it’s all on the up and up!)
My goal is to bless as many women as possible with this study, by teaching them how to turn every worry into powerful prayer. The way it works on Amazon and other bookselling sites, is the more reviews you have, the further your reach. (one of the rules of marketing I don’t quite understand!)
So, if you want a FREE copy of this revised study, (and I mean completely revised), simply hit “reply” to this email and let me know. Thank you ahead of time for being willing to read and review. My prayer is that it will bless you so much, you will share it with all of the ladies in your life.
I’m only offering this free review copy for a limited time, so don’t delay in getting your copy via PDF. Once you download it, it is yours to print and share.
***Lastly, I created a 5-day devotional guide to shutting worry out while letting truth in. If you or anyone you know could use a fresh jump-start, please grab this guide and share the link with others. This is all NEW content, packaged into one download that you can access on your phone or computer.
Thank you all for your support and faithfulness. Together, we can close the window on worry and live lives of freedom in Christ!
Always an email away,