“Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength” Leo Buscaglia
Some quick points on how to stop worrying at every opportunity.
1. Most of the things you worry about never happened
I love this quote from Winston Churchill who said :
” When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.“
I found it very true in my own life.
So, when you feel concerns begin to arise, ask yourself this:
How many things I feared to occur in my life have they actually produced?
If you’re like me, the answer is: very little. And the very few events that actually occurred were mostly not as painful or terrible as I expected.
Worries are more often than not monsters that you build in your own mind.
2. Avoid getting lost in vague fears
When fears are waves in your mind, when you lack clarity, it is very easy to get lost in exaggerated worries and disaster scenarios.
So find clarity in a disturbing situation by asking yourself:
Honestly and realistically, what’s the worst that could happen?
When I answered that question, I continue with a little bit of time to find what I can do about it if rather unlikely thing happens.
In my experience, the worst that could realistically happen is usually not as scary as what my mind could take when it is unleashed with vague fears.
Spending a few minutes finding clarity in this way can save you a lot of time, energy and suffering.
3. Don’t try to guess what’s on someone’s mind
Trying to read someone’s mind usually doesn’t work very well at all. Instead, it can very easily lead to creating an exaggerated and even disastrous scenario in your mind.
So choose a way that is less likely to lead to worries and misunderstandings.
Communicate and ask what you want to ask.
By doing so, you will encourage openness in your relationship and it will probably be happier because you will avoid many unnecessary conflicts.
4. Say stop in a situation where you know you can’t think right
Occasionally, when I’m hungry or when I’m lying on the bed and I’m about to fall asleep, I can become mentally vulnerable. So worry can more easily begin to buzz in my head.
In the past, this often led to spend several minutes without flavor or constructive thought.
These days, I quickly capture such thoughts by saying to myself:
No, no, we’re not going to think about it now.
Then I continue with this:
I will think about this situation or problem at a time when I know my mind will work much better.
It takes a little practice to apply it consistently and effectively, but it’ll also make a big difference in your life.
5. Spend more time in the moment
When you spend too much time reliving the past in your mind, it’s easy to start feeding your worries for the future.
When you spend too much time in the future, it is also easy to get carried away by disaster scenarios.
So focus on devoting more time and attention to the present moment.
Two of my favorite ways to reconnect with what’s happening now :
- Slow down. Do what you are doing right now more slowly. Move, talk, eat or drive more slowly. By doing so, you will become more aware of what is happening around you right now.
- Stop and reconnect. If you feel that you are starting to worry, disturb this thought by shouting this in your mind: STOP! Then reconnect with the present moment, taking only a minute or two to focus 100% on what is happening around you. Connect with all your senses.
6. Accept uncertainty
Very often, we tend to worry because we don’t know what could happen. Uncertainty is a natural part of life and learning to live with uncertainty is the key to feeling less anxious.
Be aware of your concerns but try not to answer each one. Consider anxiety as a transitory thought, like a passing cloud – you see but you do not have to join. Remember that anxiety is composed of thoughts that are NOT facts.
Now, calmly move forward in uncertainty. Enjoy today rather than drain it of its strength.
– By Henrik Edberg