One of the gifts given the human species is the ability to contemplate the future and plan.
The downside of this forward thinking, though, can be anxiety and worry.
While we consider dreaming of what’s to come and planning for it a good thing, worry and anxiety are a hinderance, and can lead to physical stress, deeper unhappiness, and even depression.
Below are 5 good reasons not to worry that can help put this habit into perspective:
1. Worrying Never Changed Anything
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.~Leo Buscaglia.
Whether we worry or not, the outcome will be the outcome, and what will or won’t come to pass either will or won’t come to pass. Worry has no bearing on what’s going to happen. Think of all the things you have worried about recently. What did the act of worrying actually do to change anything?
2. Worry Makes Problems Appear Bigger Than They Are
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.~Swedish Proverb.
When we give our energy over to problems we help them grow, even if only in our own minds. The energy usurped from us by the act of worry is actually quite powerful, and feeds our perception of the problem, making it loom larger, and hence feeding the cycle of worry more.
3. Worrying Robs Us of Energy and Personal Power
A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. ~John Lubbock.
When we worry, we actually give away our energy and personal power to a future (and often imaginary) situation or event, and deplete ourselves of our own resources. Since worry doesn’t change anything, we are better off keeping our energy and power and utilizing them in healthy ways.
4. Worry Robs Us of Valuable Time and Action
Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.~Glenn Turner.
Worry is quite time consuming; it gives our minds “something to do” when really we are not doing anything at all. By letting go of worry, we free ourselves to utilize our energy and power to act in the present moment where we can actually get things accomplished. Worry is always regarding the future. We cannot act on the future now; we can only act today.
5. Most of The Things We Worry About Never Come to Pass
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~Mark Twain.
Even if the things we do worry about come to pass, we can not deal with them until they arrive, and if we are worrying, then they have not arrived just yet. But many of the things we worry most about never happen. Can you remember what you spent last year on this day worrying about? How about this week last year? Probably not. If you were writing the book of your life day by day, what would all the hours and days of worry look like? Do you want them to be part of your story?
Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
What about you? How do you handle worry?