How I changed my thinking and began to worry less.
A situation came up at work this week that caused a friend to be paralyzed with worry and anxiety. She feared what might happen, the unknown. She sought reassurance knowing no words would provide it. She asked repeatedly, “on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst what do you think is going to happen?” With faith and total certainty I told her, “it is going to be fine and whatever happens you’re strong enough to handle it.”
A few years ago I acknowledged the powerful negative effects worrying was having on my life and I was being robbed of happiness because of it. I made a commitment to worry less and live more. With time, I stopped worrying about what might happen in the future and began to appreciate living in the present.
I looked at the true meaning of my emotions:
- my worrying is a manifestation of finding comfort in control and certainty
- my worrying is a deep rooted fear when I venture into the unknown
- my worrying is an underlying lack of trust in the goodness of life and the tendency to believe that things are going to turn out negative rather than positive.
How did I change my thinking and begin to worry less and live more?
Some things to think about:
Most of things you worry about have never happened.
The meeting at work? It went exceptionally well. College exams? In all the years I went to college I never failed a single exam. My dad? I found out later in life that he wasn’t lonely. Are you beginning to see a pattern? Like Mark Twain said,
“I spent most of my time worrying about what never happened.”
What you worry about happening is almost always worse than what actually happens.
If I ask myself “what is the worst thing that can happen?” regularly it is easier to stay calm and to stop a worried thought before it becomes an all-consuming ball of negativity and anxiety.
Recognize that uncertainty is a part of life.
You cannot know with absolute certainty what is going to happen next. By releasing your attachment to being in control it’s easier let go of the worrying.
You can choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative thoughts. Change your perspective and focus your energy on the positive rather than the negative. And in becoming more positive, you’ll be better able to influence positive experiences, resolutions and outcomes.
Don’t keep your worries to your self.
By talking to someone close to you it becomes easier to see the situation for what it really is. Sometimes just venting a few minutes or hearing another perspective of the situation can make a big difference and you may start to wonder why you were so worried in the first place.
Trust and faith require we believe.
We have the courage and we’re strong enough to handle whatever the outcome.
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” Dalai Lama