Recently, I came across this wonderful article from Business Insider. The article summarizes the regrets that people have when they look back on their lives. Many of the regrets were some that I have seen before; working too much, too little time with children and family, not taking care of yourself, etc. However, the one that really caught my attention was the regret of worrying too much. I’ve ranted on this topic in the past because I find that worrying drags many of my clients down far too frequently.
Worrying is a waste of your time!
This paragraph really captured what I’ve come to know about worry, “Worry is an enormous waste of your precious and limited lifetime. They suggested training yourself to reduce or eliminate worrying as the single most positive step you can make toward greater happiness.” Did you all hear that? Worrying is a waste of your time!
Will worrying change anything?
Either use worry to spur yourself to action, or please let it go. When I hear people say, “Should I be worried about . . . ?” I always say, “Will worrying change anything?” If the answer is no, then of course you shouldn’t worry! Worry will zap your energy, kill any good mood you have, and keep you from pursuing joy and meaning in your life.
Recently, I had an interesting conversation with one of my clients in which she realized that she was addicted to worry. She was so used to using it as a crutch to avoid facing her fears and addressing important issues in her life, that it became part of her daily existence. She was miserable because of it and ultimately we talked about her replacing worry with faith. Faith, not necessarily the religious type, that whatever comes your way will be managed by you and will eventually be okay.
You can actually let go of worry.
If you start to believe that everything is going to be okay and it isn’t, you will figure it out. You can actually let go of worry. Worry keeps you focused on the negative and it keeps you from getting creative about making things better. Worry is, without question, something you will regret as life moves forward. But you will never regret not worrying. Why would you if worry changes nothing?
So how do you stop worrying? First, you have to catch yourself doing it. Acknowledge what it is and then replace it with the belief that everything will be okay. Keep repeating this until you eventually start to believe it. It might take a while because so many of us are addicted to worry. Don’t give up. You can rid yourself of worry if you keep at it. I’d also recommend you limit the time you spend with addicted worriers. It tends to be contagious.
Watch what happens to your mood as you rid yourself of worry.
Watch what happens to your mood and your energy as you rid yourself of worry. Be ready to have more energy, better moods, less fear, and a ton of creative wonder. Watch as family and friends look forward to spending more time with you and how you attract wonderful, optimistic people into your life! Let me know how it goes. Trust me. You won’t have any regrets.
Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC
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