5 Things You Could Stop Worrying About
I like to think of worrying as unnecessary mental torture. We experience something like 50 000 thoughts per day (some estimate the figure as much higher – around 80 000 thoughts per day) and up to 80% of these thoughts are just random thoughts that do not have a particular purpose, other than to make us fret and raise our blood pressure. One of my favourite sayings about worrying is “worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere”. Many of us mistakenly believe that worrying helps to keep a safe and in control. Now I don’t know about you, but I can think of many times in my own life where I have worried and planned and my expectations have still been s thwarted. It is simply not true that worrying can keep you safe.
Constructive, focused worry is a different story. This is when we make a concerted effort to problem solve and to set goals for ourselves. This post is more about worrying for the sake of worrying. Common examples: “why hasn’t he/she called me back? Is it something I have said?”; “They seem to have the perfect life while mine is falling apart”; “what if I embarrass myself at the party this weekend?”; “What if I end up alone with no one to care for me?”; “What if I get an illness… What then?”…
The list goes on and so we churn anxiety provoking thoughts around in our minds constantly.Your mindset governs your actions which leads to your results in life. Fill your mind with positive productive thinking and the world around you will start to change.
I have seen so much evidence of how unproductive too much worrying can be. It creates anxiety and tension and can lead to depression, often due to the fact that we buy into our subjective reality. Separate thoughts from reality. Look for the evidence instead of assuming all taking things personally.
Here is a list of common worries that are pretty much futile:
1) What others think of you
This is easier said than done, I know.If you think about it, what difference does it really make? It is impossible to please everybody so get into the habit of pleasing yourself. It is your life not theirs. Accept that there will be people that love you and there will be people that love you less. It’s no big deal. Keep on doing your thing and stay true to who you are instead of trying to change to please others.It rarely works.
2) What ifs
Oh my goodness, when we get into this way of thinking it could be never-ending.The nature of life is precarious-the quicker we accept this the faster we can get on with living our lives instead of trying to predetermine every possible glitch before it has happened. We could all easily get sucked into “what if” thinking that if you find yourself doing this, remind yourself that all possibilities are possible!
Mindfulness is a good way to counteract “what if” thinking. Be in the moment and engage your senses.Really listen, observe, taste, touch and smell your immediate environment. Be as fully present as you can. The more we engage our five senses the less time and minds have to wander off and worry aimlessly.
When we allow the fear of failure to overwhelm us, it can lead to paralysis.we fear making the wrong decision and end up procrastinating and not making any decisions. We become frightened of life. This is where it is very important to watch your beliefs around failure. What does failure mean to you? A healthy attitude to failure means that you never see yourself as a failure. Perhaps things that you try to not work out, but that’s okay. Life is inherently a trial and error process. Relish the fact that you are on the crazy ‘rollercoaster of life’ and that you are learning as you go.When I fail and I may feel disappointed but I also feel that I have learned something to help me move forward.
Being rejected can trigger all sorts of fears and insecurities within us. It makes sense then as to why many of us will do anything to avoid being rejected. We naturally assume that we are not good enough but we also need to consider what else is going on and we get rejected. Rejection is unfortunately something that we all experience. It is not true that every person that has ever been rejected is not good enough. I can think of people who seem to have it all and still get rejected. they are beautiful rich and famous and have everybody clamouring for their attention. It is not at all about not being good enough, it is more about incompatibility.It serves no purpose to talk yourself in a downtrodden manner.If you have been rejected, see it as a sign that that person was not meant for you. Be optimistic about the idea that the right person is still out there waiting for you or looking for you. People with high self-esteem tend to deal better with rejection. If you find rejection overwhelming it may be a good idea to work on your self-esteem and learn to love and accept yourself. It’s an odd phenomenon that other people tend to treat you the level that you treat yourself.
5) The Past
Yes, I am going to say it. That old cliche-the past is done and it cannot be changed. Mistakes have been made and there will be regrets but wasting mental energy and looking behind you will not only exhaust you but also leave you feeling emotionally depleted. Use the past as a learning tool and remind yourself that everyone has skeletons in the closet. The power rests with the present moment. Not in the past in neither in the future. Hang on to your fond memories of the past and maintain a sense of humour about it less than fond memories.
What we tell ourselves on an ongoing basis, whether it be good or bad, right or wrong reflects not only what we think but also how we feel and act. This can directly influence our results in life. Learn to stop worrying and let stuff go. It takes practise and self awareness but it’s worth the effort.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Photo by symphony of love
Photo by Evil Erin