“Worry is a waste of time. It doesn’t change anything, it just messes with your mind and steals your happiness.” – anonymous

Do you find yourself worrying about things in your life? Do you worry about finances, family, jobs, health and just about anything else there is to worry about? Well, you are certainly not alone. Worrying is something we do naturally as human beings. It is second nature to us. Somehow we feel that by worrying, it will alleviate some of the stress we may feel about situations in our lives. We may feel that many situations are out of our control and since we believe we do not have control over the circumstances, out next best strategy is to worry.  Worrying is so commonplace that it is actually strange to hear someone say that they don’t worry.

Worrying Is a Habit

Worrying is actually a very destructive habit, a default reaction to circumstances that we think might happen. It is like a protective shell that we wear to shield us from the negative things that may or may not transpire. Worrying is just that – protection against possibilities but not actual reality. We worry about what could happen and prepare ourselves for the worst. Human beings are natural preppers against disaster. We worry about not having enough money, food and other material goods, so we stockpile and hoard. We worry about bad things happening so we hyper protect ourselves and others. and if we can’t protect them we go into worry overload to compensate.

Worrying is unproductive. We can not change the past and. worrying about what may or may not happen in the future will only hold us captive to our fears, As we all know, too much worrying can morph into unhealthy states such as anxiety and depression as well as harm our physical health. The reality is that worrying never accomplishes anything good and can even leave us worse than we were before.

How to Break the Worry Habit

We can begin with the understanding that it is a habit, a default position that we shift into. And, because it is a habit, it is also possible to reeducate ourselves, think differently and break this habit.  To change anything in our lives we need to change the way we think. Gaining new insight and perspective towards circumstances in our lives and deciding to process them differently is an important step towards breaking the worry habit. Below are listed a few tips ( or reflections) which I hope will be helpful to you if worrying is something you are struggling with.

Get Busy

Having an active life, living fully in the present is a powerful antidote to the worrying habit. When we are fully engaged in what we are doing each day, there is no time to worry about anything. There is only time for action and action stops worry (which is another word for fear) in its tracks.  So get busy. Find useful, productive, helpful and creative things to do. The more we focus on action, the less we will focus on our problems (real or imagined).

Keep the Past in the Past

We can not undo the past. It’s done.  Sometimes we try to step back into the past in our minds and wonder how things could have been different (we all do this). Sometimes we regret what we didn’t do or choices that we made and we may worry about our present circumstances as a result of choices made in the past. Today is a brand new day and a new beginning. Impact the present and leave the past where it belongs.

Don’t Borrow Tomorrow’s Problems

Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet. Today is all we have and our job is to attack the problems of today. Tomorrow’s problems will be available tomorrow. By focusing on today and the circumstances of today it is easier to focus our energy and take action. Our future reality depends on how we impact our present. If we waste our time worrying about what might happen, then we will have less time and energy to focus on today.

Deal in Reality

Anytime we worry about what may or may not happen, we are dealing in the hypothetical – the what-ifs. What if this happens or what if that happens? Frankly, it doesn’t matter about the what-ifs because these are not real but imaginary scenarios. They don’t exist. To overcome the worry habit we need to stay firmly planted in reality, in what is actually happening now. Nothing but now exists.

” Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years.  If something is wrong, fix it if you can, but train yourself not to worry. ” – Mary Hemmingway

Recognize that Worrying Is a Big Waste of Time

It is seriously a colossal waste of time. With the time spent worrying, imagine what we could do and accomplish. Worrying occupies minutes and hours of our day and forces us to spend precious time in scenarios that don’t even exist when we could be using this time to change our circumstances, to do something about them. we could be using this time improving our lives and helping others to do the same. at the end of our lives, we will not be concerned with what we spent our time worrying about. but maybe and most likely, we will reflect on what we didn’t do with the time we had.

Don’t Try to Change What Can’t Be Changed

Some things in life we have no control over. Some things we simply can not change. Some things are out of our hands but are in the hands of someone else. Sometimes we just need to let go and trust. If we try to change what is not ours to change or if we worry about what is not in our hands, we are battling with a cement wall. All the worrying in the world will not change the situation and worrying will most likely make it worse for everyone.  Once again, we need to focus on what we can do within the realm of our own control.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca