It’s easy to tell someone not to worry, but of course it’s much harder to actually put this advice into practice.
I’ll admit, when life seems overwhelming and the future uncertain, I myself have a hard time not worrying. It seems to be an innate skill – a knee-jerk-reaction, even – of every human being on the planet.
What’s a person to do, then, when they simply can’t take their mind off of something?
I have good news for you. If you can worry, you can meditate.
I’m not talking about some weird spiritual mumbo-jumbo. Meditation, according to Merriam-Webster, simply means “to engage in contemplation or reflection; to focus one’s thoughts on.”
In a way, worry in itself is a type of meditation, albeit a very unhealthy type.
You already know how to meditate, how to focus your thoughts on something with relentless determination. You just need to practice focusing on different things.
Instead of focusing on what might happen to the people you love in the future, focus on how much you love them. Rather than thinking about potential health crises you might someday face, give thanks for the good health you’re in today. Instead of worrying about what your investment portfolio will look like in twenty years’ time, be grateful that you still have time now to impact it positively.
One thing that has helped me enormously with this has been my gratitude journal. Whenever I’m overwhelmed by the present and fearful of the future, I pull out my little notebook and am reminded of how much I have to be grateful for.
Well actually, full disclosure, I don’t always do that – sometimes I allow myself to wallow in my stress and worry – but every time I actually remember to refocus my attention I always feel better!
Storms are going to come. Life is going to buffet you. But you are stronger than you give yourself credit for, and you will handle the challenges better than you think you will.
Stop worrying about the “what if’s,” and choose to take life – and enjoy it – as it comes…one day at a time.