Limitless Monday – Stop worrying start living
We all worry. It doesn’t matter whether you are a self-help guru, a yogi, or the Buddha himself. The difference between you and them is how they manage worry.
Let’s be honest, there is plenty to worry about. Will I be late for work? Does the boss dislike me? Will I get fat eating this third bar of chocolate? Is the girl or guy I met from that dating site interested in me? Is it going to rain this weekend?
The interesting thing about worry is that it is fleeting. Try to recall what you were worrying about a year ago, a month ago or even a day ago. There is always something new. Worry is a strong emotion that can debilitate us. It produces a loop of negative thoughts which is difficult to break.
The good thing to know about worry is that it wears off. It becomes duller as time passes. When someone says, “tomorrow is another day,” that is particularly true with regard to worry. A break of any kind – a sleep, a walk, a small distraction – stops the worry loop. If you are not careful, however, you, like most people, will simply replace one worry with another and start all over.
“Worry does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.” – Randy Armstrong
I think this quotation sums up the situation perfectly. Let’s skip back to the self-help guru. Does he or she ever worry? Since they spend most of their time telling us worry is a wasted emotion, they can’t worry, right?
Wrong. Of course they worry. However, there are two differences.
Firstly, what they worry about, and secondly, how they manage worry.
So what do they worry about? Well, I can tell you what they don’t worry about. They don’t become anxious as soon as the month’s credit card statement arrives, when the train is running late, or if someone doesn’t respond to their WhatsApp message within ten seconds.
They have learned to reframe these situations in their minds, and teach themselves that these events are not important.
These events or situations are not important to them because they are out of their control. They don’t leave matters to chance. They don’t worry about their credit card statement because they know how much they can afford to spend each month, and they have their spending under control. They don’t give a second thought to the person who isn’t fast at responding to his text message, as he or she realizes there could be multiple reasons other than ‘they don’t like me anymore,’ and if that was the reason, then, who cares? That’s their problem.
In essence, if there is a problem that is likely to turn into a worry, they deal with it immediately. It only becomes a worry if you leave it to fester. The worry loop is broken as soon as you make a decision to work out a solution to the problem. And if there is no solution, it usually means it is something that may or may not happen because you have no control over it. Then why waste time and energy thinking about it? As a wise friend of mine used to say to me: hope for the best, plan for the worst.
I’ll end this week with a pertinent quotation:
Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.
Let’s start this Monday by banning the word ‘worry’ from our vocabulary, focusing on solutions, and above all having faith. Faith that everything is going to work out just fine.
Banner Image: Worry. Image Credit – Kristin Hardwick