Good, old-fashioned work and productivity can take care of a multitude of grief and problems. Thinking too much and having too much idle time on your hands creates an emotional, psychological, and intellectual climate for disaster. When we are not productively engaged in work, intellectual pursuits, and taking care of life’s responsibilities, we can self-destruct.
As a psychologist, I have watched people who were suffering with depression, anxiety, regret, grief, and a multitude of others maladies common to mankind overcome and go beyond their issue into health and well-being simply by becoming productive—by finding something to do. Granted, sometimes the condition is very complicated and “good, old-fashioned work” will not solve the problem (because some psychological disorders are very complex and serious), but for most of us, becoming externally focused and busy doing things that keep our minds productively engaged helps us to stop internalizing all of our woes.
All of us have regrets about our past, concerns for our present, and fears about our future; but those thoughts need not cause a state of anxiety and depression. So many people live in a constant state of worry and anxiety. Most of the people who walk through my door seeking counseling have a problem with anxiety, which comes from fear and worry. Sometimes people have had an anxiety state or depression since childhood, so their condition is not simple and is probably hereditary. But many people who are struggling through their lives could feel remarkably better simply by becoming productively engaged in a job or activities that are challenging or intellectually stimulating.
As a young woman, I went through a divorce I did not seek. I was devastated by this loss and was depressed and hopeless. I had just completed my master’s degree in psychology and wanted no part of going back to school, but I decided that in order to keep my sanity and keep my mind fully and completely engaged in productive endeavor, I would work on a doctorate at Peabody of Vanderbilt. Perhaps by the time I completed the degree I would be beyond the divorce and would have retained and maintained my sanity; furthermore, I’d have a degree that would change my life. All of the above was accomplished. The divorce ended up being one of the best things that happened in my life, and earning my doctorate degree and becoming a psychologist was the best professional move I could have made. I came through my crisis without emotional devastation and grew professionally and educationally beyond my dreams. Productive endeavor and challenge played an important role in turning a nightmare into God’s best for my life.
The more you are productively engaged in intellectual, stimulating pursuits and working hard every day to take care of your personal responsibilities, the less emotional stress and turmoil you will experience. The result of good, old-fashioned work and productive endeavor works magic for your emotional and physical health.