Have you ever noticed how worry seems to breed even more worry? It’s as if worrying is contagious.
Here’s an example: You worry about the confrontation you had with your teenager. You then begin to think that you’ve damaged the relationship between the two of you. She won’t come to you with her concerns. She’ll start listening to the advice of her friends. Her friends will give her the wrong advice and she’ll begin to rebel against you. Her grades will fall. Her college dreams will fade. She’ll end up settling for less than she can be. Her not living up to her full potential is all your fault, you’ve ruined her life.
This example may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. You see how emotionally and mentally one small event can turn into a life changing out of control situation. It all stems from how easily worry can multiple.
Here are some ways to take control of worry before it gets out of control:
1. Keep yourself busy doing those things that are positive and productive.
Going forward in positive ways can work miracles. While your mind is focused on going forward in positive ways, it’s hard to worry about what “might happen” in the future. It’s simple, the busier and more productive you are the less time you have to worry.
2. Trying to make everything perfect is a time waster.
Perfectionists often find themselves in no-win situations. They worry about everything – what they should be doing, how they could have made what they did do even better, what they have to . . . The list is endless and frustrating. Perfectionism produces frustration, worry and can chip away at healthy self-esteem.
3. Live in the present.
We worry based upon what has happened to us in the past. You have choices – you can live in the present or the past but you can’t live in both at the same time. Are you allowing the past to weigh you down? Want to determine if you’re emotionally in the past or the present? Listen to how you speak. Do your conversations sound like – I did this, I use to, I’ve done that. What tense is being used – past, present or future? Successful people live in the now and plan for the future.
4. Do something proactive.
When you’re proactive and going forward, it’s hard to worry. Don’t sit and worry about what might happen, take action and make things happen for the positive.
5. Be grateful for what you have right now.
Gratitude is a worry buster. It’s almost impossible to worry and express gratitude at the same time. Gratitude is a positive emotion and worry is a negative one. Make time to appreciate the positive things you have now and all those things you can create in the future.
6. Be excited about the unexpected.
Spontaneity can be exciting. Go with the flow and enjoy the unexpected ups and downs of life. Live a little more in the moment and worry less about what might happen. Be glad that life is filled with surprises because they will help keep you from becoming bored.
Your mind is a powerful success tool. You can use it to worry or you can use it to go forward in positive ways. Truly, the choice is yours.
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