Written by contributing blogger, Daniela Forte.
Worrying is the destruction of happiness. It prevents you from living the life you should be living and stopping pure joy from being part of your life, and honestly, it’s a bitch.
We all worry about different things on different days, or the same things on different days, some are important things to worry about and some are not. When my own worry has gotten the best of me, I have had people tell me to change my perspective. I hardly ever change my perspective, simply because I can’t get out of my own head.
My own mother has told me time and time again, this or that is not worth worrying about, and then would proceed to tell me things that were worth worrying about. Like having a terminal illness, or losing your home, losing a family member…the list goes on. But I couldn’t escape my worries, my fears. And my mother telling me things like “Things could be worse…” didn’t help the situation either.
Life is funny, some of the things you worry about, or almost all of the things you worry about never actually come to fruition, at least not in the way you imagined in your mind. Remember, it’s mind over matter.
For example, before I moved out of my parents house, I was petrified of my electric and gas bills, I thought the worst. As it turns out, they are now the least of my financial worries. They are actually of all my expenses, the walks in the park for me. Go figure.
Worry is the child of fear and fear is boring. All it does is stop you from living your life as you choose to live it. Fear is paralyzing and inhibiting and can cause some serious damage to you and those around you.
So what should you not be worrying about?
What Other People Think of You: In life you will meet people that will love you, people that will hate you and none of it will actually have anything to do with you. You will meet people who don’t like you for no apparent reason, they simply just don’t. What others think about you and things you done and choices you have made in your life are none of anybody else’s business, so you don’t need their acceptance or validation.
This is a hard lesson I am still learning because let’s be real we all want to be liked and accepted by our peers, but as you get older, you realize not everyone you surround yourself with will be on board with your journey, some may venture off at different points for reasons you can’t begin to explain, and that’s okay. The only person you need to gain acceptance and validation from is yourself. And lets be real, who has time to worry about who likes you and who doesn’t? I mean seriously.
One of my friends told me recently, and this made me laugh, no one gives a shit about other people, everyone is too busy worrying about themselves. They don’t care about what you are doing or how you are doing it. It cracked me up, because she is probably right.
Your Finances: Ok, this is pushing it a bit, because you do need to live and live comfortably, but at the end of the day when it comes to your finances, you will figure it out. You will simply because you have to. Begin saving on a daily or weekly basis, even if it $5 a week in a jar somewhere. Get a second job or a third one, there are always options to make your finances work.
Last month for example, I agreed to go to Europe with a group of friends, in December and while I agreed to go (rather immediately … totally not like me by the way), I had no idea how I would pay for it all. But I simply said, you know what I will figure it out. And I also realized, I will never ever have money to go to Europe, but what I do know is that I have one life to live, and I will not miss on some great experiences because I am not sure how I will pay for it.
What You Can’t Control: I will admit I have had a pretty tough year, filled with so much happiness, sadness, anger and frustration. But it has taught me a lot about control. I cannot and will not worry about what I can’t control. This includes people and situations I have encountered in my life, I cannot control the curve balls that are thrown at me, what will happen next, what has happened in the past, none of it.
Neither can you. You cannot control what happens in your life or the people in it. It is hard not to want to or try for that matter, but stuff is going to happen good and bad and none of it is within our control. When you try to control everything, you end up controlling nothing. What you can control is yourself, how you handle situations and people, what you allow in your life and what you don’t.
My friend will often ask me when my worries are far beyond logical reason, whether this is a horse I can control, if it is then by all means, do what you can to fix what you can, if it isn’t then by all means drop it completely. We are all given choices in our lives, things we will need to solve on a regular basis, it’s a matter of deciding what is important what isn’t.
The Future: You can’t worry about it, because you have absolutely no idea what will happen in it. Things can change in an instant. What you thought you absolutely certain about could change. So why worry? Just know that whatever the outcome (good or bad) will work itself out for the best of all involved.
The Past: Nope, can’t worry about that either. It’s done, it’s over with and you have to let it go. Oh how easy those words are to say, but so incredibly difficult to do. But you can’t give life to what is not here anymore. Whatever that is. I personally am one who lives in the past a lot. I am always looking back in fondness and in sadness and it has prevented me from living my life presently. I don’t ever say, “I wish I had known …” or “If I could go back and do everything differently, I would..” I don’t do that. Because it wouldn’t have brought me here to the people and places I am encountering.
Just know that whatever has happened in your past has shaped you into who you are today, for the good and bad. If your past isn’t exactly the most delightful place of reference, forgive yourself and forgive others. Don’t allow yourself to live with any regrets either. Everything happens for a reason and where you are today is for a reason. Worrying won’t change anything other than prevent you from living in the present. Trust me on this one.
Here are some quick tips to ease your worry:
- Meditation – spend a few moments each day in silence, take some deep breaths and focus on them. Allow yourself to be completely engulfed in the moment.
- Exercise – Working out has been proven to help stress, worry and anxiety. I personally try to do this when I cannot seem to calm down. So take a walk, take a hike, run, jump up and down, dance… any physical activity will do.
- Sing – One of my favorite things to do (by myself usually) is sing. Just belt it out.
- Read – Reading is a great escape from reality for a little while. Get yourself immersed in the dramas of fictional characters rather than real life.
- Write it down – I have done this plenty of times. Make a list of what is worrying you and cross off anything that isn’t within your grasp of control.
Image source: Tiny buddha