Worry gets into all the crevices of our lives. We worry about our jobs, kids, relationships, money, and a million other things daily. No wonder it feels like we're not getting things done the way we'd like.
Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way. To change your life and stop worrying, ask yourself these quick questions:
What Are You Really Worried About?
Many times, worry is a mask for something else entirely. A hard look and some pointed questions might be necessary to get to the heart of the matter. On the other hand, once you clearly understand the real issue, it's easier to address the problem and stamp out the worry completely.
Is This Even Possible?
Worry inflates everything to monster proportions. If what your keep thinking about seems slightly ridiculous, it probably is. Get clear on the situation. Take a step back and ask yourself just how likely this outcome is. Worry can't stand up under this kind of scrutiny.
Is This Something I Can Control?
We're very good at worrying about something we can't change. Seriously, what difference does it make if it snows tomorrow? Nothing we do can keep the flakes from falling. Accept that sometimes you must go with the flow and adapt to the circumstances.
Does this Affect Me Today?
Worries about the future can derail your life today. If you're worried about something far off, it's time to take a step back. Ask yourself a fundamental follow-up question if you're concerned about the future: "Is there something I can do today that will prevent this outcome tomorrow?" If so, now you have a plan of action. Get to it!
Am I Spending Too Much Time?
Obsessive worry doesn't help anyone. If you are repeatedly circling back to the same concern, you might need help breaking out of this cycle. Consider talking to someone, such as a good friend, coach, counselor, or trained professional, to help you break out of this vicious cycle. Others can often see what you can't.
Why Do I Care What Others Think?
If you're worried about the opinions of others, why? If you're concerned about impressing your boss, there are better ways to do this than worrying. More often than not, though, you're going to find most people's opinions really don't matter. Don't let them get to you.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you'll find it's easy to get your thoughts back on track. Worry becomes a thing of the past when we're mindful of it and don't let it become obsessive. Imagine the difference a life without so much worry will make.
"There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem."
– Harold Stephen