Don’t Worry, Be Happy

October 28, 2009

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Live in the moment, most of the time. Worrying is something we do when we think about bad things that might happen in the future. So the less you think about the future, the less you’ll worry. Still, it’s impractical to not think about the future at all, if you have any sort of responsibilities. The next few steps will address that.

Tackle your worries head-on, and swiftly. You can still anticipate problems and plan for them without necessarily worrying. The key is that when the worry enters your head, you immediately address or resolve it somehow, and then let it go. Be proactive! Let’s say you worry a lot about a house fire. Sit down as soon as you can and make a plan to implement all the steps in how to prevent a house fire, maybe one or two steps a week.

  • If a worry enters your head at an inconvenient time, designate another time to address it. If you start thinking about house fires during your child’s school play, for example, you might think to yourself “I’ll go home and make a plan at 10p.m. when the kids are in bed. There’s no use in thinking about it until then.”

  • Another approach is to make a list of all the fears that worry you. Go through them, one by one, and make plans. Then…

Move on. Once you develop a reasonable plan, and commit to following it, there’s no need to dwell on the worry anymore. Let it go. The danger in worrying is when a scenario that you dread lingers in your head. Sure, you could always do more, like anticipating every possible outcome and taking every possible step to prevent each unwanted outcome from happening, but you’ll spend your life preventing bad things from happening rather than enjoying the good things that have already happened. And you won’t even be able to stop all bad things from happening, anyway!

  • Maybe you need to learn to be comfortable with risk. If you believe you’ve done enough to decrease the chances of something happening by, say, 85%, accept that as good enough. There are simply no guarantees in life.

  • Don’t recycle the past. Many of the worries we have about the future are fears that the past will repeat itself. Whether it was heartbreak, or an injury, or a natural disaster, it haunts us and we want to do everything in our power from preventing it from happening again. These articles might help:

  • Stop trying to save the world. If you feel like it’s your job or responsibility to stop bad things from happening (perhaps to your family, your business, or at all) you’re placing too much pressure on yourself. There is such thing as a hero complex, and you might have it. The thing is, you’re only human, and to set yourself to an unattainable standard will only cause pain and disappointment.

  • Take up activities to keep busy. Anything that preoccupies you and precludes worrying will be good for you, as long as you don’t become addicted to it for that very purpose.

  • Even if it’s good to keep busy, you shouldn’t fool yourself! Being honest with yourself is the core of living, of knowing what you really want to do and where you really want to be. If you have real issues, deal with them and make that your first priority – as soon as your mental weight is eased from your shoulders, you should start to feel relieved. When this happens, remember that feeling and pursue it!

  • -WikiHow Definitions-

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