“How would your life be different if…You stopped worrying about things you can’t control and started focusing on the things you can? Let today be the day…You free yourself from fruitless worry, seize the day and take effective action on things you can change.” – Steve Maraboli
Living an adult life will always bring worry. Indeed, this is certainly a year in which worry has had plenty of opportunity to settle in! Worry is a regular visitor for most people, for some it is easy to set aside and for others it is crippling. It always pays to be mindful of our emotions; mindful of our fears, hopes, reactions and emotional tendencies. Worry is an emotion that, gone unchallenged, can spiral out of control. There is no getting rid of it, and so, one has to learn to be mindful of its presence and to work with it.
We should not aim to eradicate worry, it does have its benefits after all. Without worry, we would have less caution and an unbalanced idea of how things can go very right or very wrong. Worry is essential to balance. But like anything that is indulged, too much can see you spiralling into a rocky place. Being mindful of this balance is essential to your overall wellbeing and resilience.
Here is a little guidance on how to look your daily worries in the face and to work both with and around them…
1. Put A Time Limit on Your Worry
You can worry, worry, worry until the proverbial cows come home. Although it is useful to note the potential pitfalls or dangers of a situation, it does not do to dwell on them. All you can do, by dwelling, is to repeat and remind yourself of all the things that could go wrong. These facts do not change as you repeat them, and only make you feel more anxious.
So, put a time limit on your worry. Allow yourself to lay out your concerns for a limited time, after which you need to move on with your day. It may help you to write your concerns down during this period. Often, when we take thoughts out of their head and put them on paper, they don’t look nearly as daunting feel as overwhelming as they did in your brain.
2. Rationalise Your Concerns
Consider your list of concerns. Are they, when you really think about it, logical worries? Do they have merit? Or is the irrational part of your brain just running riot and eroding your wellbeing? Which of these worries is actually worth your time? During your designated period of worry, it might be useful to delve into the rationality of your fears about a given situation and explore how valid they really are.
The issue with sitting and becoming more anxious and less resilient as you turn concerns over in your head is that it changes nothing. These things that are bothering you, is there something that you can do to change them? Are they concerns that can be resolved?
A great way to put worry to one side is to take action. This is for two reasons. One; action, movement and productivity often lift the mood and will probably ensure that some of your concerns fade on their own. The second is that by actively dealing with a fear or anxiety you are consciously dealing with a problem. Get up, get out of your head, and get the thing solved!
As we have discussed, worries cannot change whist floating around in your mind. Concerns are also brilliantly allayed by sharing them with others. Sharing your thoughts with a trusted friend, partner or relative will help you to see your concerns through the eyes of others. Having someone else weigh will confirm or deny the validity of your worry, and the connection alone will make you feel infinitely better.
5. Accept the Concept of Uncertainty
Look, uncertainty is everywhere and you can’t control everything. Accepting this fact will help you to change your entire relationship with worry. The concerns that you can control and solve, those are worth addressing. However, the ones you can’t, well, there’s nothing you can do about them; are they worth the energy you are spending dwelling on them?
6. Stay in The Moment
Concerns over potential happenings in the future often cripple the ‘now’. A multitude of problems are solved by living in the moment. This may not allay your fears entirely, but it will stop them impacting the quality of the rest of your life. Focus on the here and now.
By Chris Thomson
There are many ways to push your life in a positive direction. Have you thought of adopting a mantra to boost your energy and outlook? … 7 Simple Mantras to Live By
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