Does it make you happy or mess you up?
Does it make you feel free and relaxed or all tight and tense?
There's an old English proverb my great aunt Betty used to say to me when I was a kid because she knew I worried a lot... about school and getting good grades, being liked, how I looked and what I'd do with my life:
"Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair.
It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere."
Throughout our lives we've all had legitimate worries about health, money, family, career or any number of concerns but too often we worry needlessly about things... things from the past or what will happen in the future. Projecting yourself back into the past or forward to the future, being preoccupied with how things might turn out does absolutely nothing except... to make for stress, uncertainty and anxiety.
Projecting and worrying pulls you right out of the present. The past is done and finished. The future hasn't happened yet. It's out of your hands. So -- why worry? "...it doesn't get you anywhere."
Worry is a waste of time
• Worry stops you from living now with pleasure in the precious, present moments of your life
• Worry makes your life painful, empty, joyless, confused, impatient, restless and numb
• Worry disrupts your peace of mind
• Worry is exhausting; wearing you out, night and day, focusing on difficulties and troubles
• Worry is filled with all kinds of fear
That's the purpose -- to keep you away from fully living and enjoying life -- being grateful for the immediate wonders of the world that are all around you.
Just deal with it when it happens
Too often I waste time projecting into the future. Wondering and worrying about what will happen with work or meetings or friends. I get myself all tied up in a knot. Sometimes I don't even want to spend time with people because I think I'll be bored or irritated, but when I get there I'm actually surprised because I usually have a good time.
Looking ahead; living in the future; living in the unknown drains your energy and creates problems before they even exist. Why not just wait and see what happens.
I'm still learning that I'm in control and can make choices not to waste my time suffering with worry. If I'm not happy with something or someone or even going somewhere I can always choose to move on, to stay away or make a choice to enjoy what is going on, to live and learn.
When you think about the situations and problems you've worried about in your life somehow you always get through them and that's one way to end worry -- by trusting that things always work out.
Worry only helps when it pushes you to take action and find a solution to a problem.
5 ways to change how you see worry
Here are five people who can help us all to change difficulties and paralyzing worry into calm and comfort, confidence and joy. Their words take the pain out of worry and describe a new way to think about worry. They assist us to actually see if our problems are real and fixable... that we all have the innate ability to create change and live life in a more positive, happy and healthy way.
See what words or ideas you identify with, what you can learn and how you can change worry into peace, gratitude and nourishing, good feelings.
1. "Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever."
- Isak Dinesen - Danish author
2. "If something is wrong fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything." - Ernest Hemingway - American writer
3. "Either you have control or you don't. If you do, take control. If you don't, don't waste your energy on worry." - Wayne Dyer - American philosopher and author
4. "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 - Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan people
5. "Why worry? If you've done the very best you can worrying won't make it any better." - Walt Disney - American animator and entrepreneur
How completely refreshing is it to see how other people use logic and feeling to deal with worry?
Think about this. Every second we live we are moving into the future. The future becomes the now. It's right next to living in the present so why not live now -- live free -- welcome the unknown and stop worrying.