Why are we (and by we, I mean girls, and specifically the types of emotionally switched on and reflective girls who read and write blogs) so bad when it comes to worrying?
I have struggled with worry in every facet of life at some point in time. Upcoming important deadlines at work have left me with sleepless nights and weary eyes, big life changes like moving house (and countries!) have exacerbated anxieties and made me fret, and relationship concerns have reduced me to tears on more occasions than I would like to admit. Do you want to know the one thing that all these negative thoughts have had in common? Not once have they been based on what is actually happening in my life, and therefore I have put myself through torture on occasion over things that aren’t even real. What a bloody waste of time!
Here are 6 reasons why I no longer worry about the future (and why I think you shouldn’t either).
1. It probably won’t even happen!
Are you the type of person that is always wondering, “What if…?”. I can guarantee you that 99% of the times that you are worried about some tragic outcome materialising, it won’t. Nope, not even close. Stop wasting your time and energy fretting over things that will never come about, and get out there and enjoy yourself!
2. And if it does, you’ll cope
So very occasionally in life, horrible things do happen. This doesn’t mean we have to wait for them though, because these things are unpredictable and often come when you’re least expecting them to. The thing to hang on to however, is that you will be OK. You are much stronger than you think, and can deal with whatever life throws at you. Hold onto the fact that everything happens for a reason. If you think like this, then there is never a negative outcome to anything that will ever happen to you in life.
3. It’s counterproductive
The issue with worry is that you spend so much time thinking that you forget to concentrate on acting. Worrying clouds your thoughts, directs you away from the things that are important and leads to unnecessary stress which may compound the very thing you were worrying about in the first place! If you want to channel your over-active imagination in a more useful way, use it to write a list of actions on what to do to overcome your worry, or get yourself out of the sticky situation you are worrying about.
4. It won’t be important in the future
Whatever is worrying you right now will be nothing but a distant memory in years to come. Can you remember the things that were troubling you five, ten or fifteen years ago? Chances are that whatever it is that’s an issue for you now won’t even factor in your life this time next year. Think back to when you were a teenager, and you used to worry about talking to boys or what people thought of your clothes – now you couldn’t give a damn (well, you care less anyway).
5. It prevents you from enjoying the present
This is cheesy, but the saying, “yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, but today is a gift and that is why it’s called the present” is such a truism. Live by it.
6. Learning not to worry sets you free!
As soon as you train your brain to stop worrying, you will become more relaxed, healthier in mind and body and nicer to be around. You will sleep better, and therefore look better and be more on the ball. Best of all, learning to let go of things that you can’t control is a very liberating feeling. Once you master it, you will never look back.
What do you worry about, and what advice would you give to others for coping with worry?