Worried? How Not to Let It Get the Best of You
The key words here are "present moment." Worry, then, is a technique you have created in order to use up the "now" moments of your life, rather than choosing to use these precious, present moments living a fully functioning, happy life.
Everything that has ever happened to you did not happen in the past—it happened in the present moment. And everything that will ever happen to you will not occur in the future—it will take place in the "now" as well. So every moment you elect to spend in worry is your way of using up your "nows" by not being fully present in your life.
Your worry list can be long indeed: your health, your family, the economy, your security, your job, etc. All of it is a means for you to occupy your mind here and now as an excuse to avoid living. A worrier sits around and thinks about things and remains inactive, while a doer refuses to occupy the precious, present moments of his/her life and sets aside futile mental activity.
Think back to all the things you worried about 15 years ago. How did that worry impact the outcomes that have become your very life? Now examine all of the things you worry about today and remind yourself that in 15 years, all you will have done with your worry-mind is avoided living fully in your present moments.
Get 5 ways to eliminate worry from your life
1. Begin to view all of your present moments as times to live, rather than to obsess about the future. When you catch yourself worrying, ask yourself, "What am I avoiding now by using up this moment with worry?" Then begin to take action on what you are avoiding.
2. Recognize the preposterousness of worry. Ask yourself over and over, "Is there anything that will change as a result of my worrying about it?" For example: Will my worrying affect the stock market? Will my worrying affect the weather? Will my worrying affect whether or not my child has an accident?
3. Give yourself shorter and shorter periods of "worry time." Designate 10 minutes in the morning to worry—and when that time period is up, refuse to worry until your afternoon worry segment.
4. Make a worry list of everything you worried about yesterday or last year, and then see if your worrying did anything to affect the outcome.
5. Keep in mind the most useful advice I can give you for eliminating worry from your life; I learned it a long time ago from a teacher I had in India:
It makes no sense to worry about the things you have no control over, because if you have no control over them, it makes no sense to worry about them. And also, it makes no sense to worry about the things you do have control over, because if you have control over them, it makes no sense to worry about them. And there goes everything that it is possible to worry about. Either you have control or you don't, and worry is just a waste of your precious, present moments.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He's the author of more than 30 books, including the New York Times best-seller Excuses Begone! How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits.
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