I’ve had a lot of worries in my life. Most of which never happened. ~Mark Twain
This quote has been on repeat in my head lately. Because I am a chronic worrier.
I can get so wrapped up in the what if/maybe/worst-case-scenario-possible, that I have to remind myself that most – if not ALL – of the things that I ever worried about never materialized. Not. Even. Close.
But, even if I tell myself that, I still tend to keep going over the same scary scenarios in my head. It’s like the record is skipping and I can’t get it to stop.
So, here are some practices to use when we need to get the record playing back on track.
5 Ways to Worry Less:
1- Don’t Google it.
We have to remind ourselves that just because someone responded to a question in a random, shady forum like three years ago, doesn’t mean this person has true information.
In fact, the one responding probably lives in his mother’s basement, plays video games, and only eats pepperoni pizza.
Google is a good resource. But, it’s not always dependable. We know that. But as worriers, we almost WANT to see some horrifying answer. Mostly so that we can shove our phone in our husband’s/mom’s/best friend’s face and be like “SEEEEE! I told you that if you accidentally step on a crack in the road after midnight then your car MIGHT blow up. It happened once to this person in New Mexico!”
If you are a chronic worrier like me, then do yourself a favor and just step away from the Google.
2- Lose track of time.
When is the last time you lost track of time? Go waste some time doing something that you love. Be un-productive. Enjoy the present.
3- Figure out what you do for fun. Then, do it.
No, like seriously. What do you do for fun?
This was the first question that my counselor asked me when I came into his office.
I knew what I used to do for fun. I knew what I wanted to do for fun. But, I had no answer for what I actually did, like recent in years, for fun.
My guess is that you can relate to this. Because in fact, I decided to be all Family Feud-like and I took a survey. I asked dozens of moms what they did for fun and how often they did it.
Fifty-six percent of moms that said hardly ever or never take time to do fun things. And, 16% said “often.” [Insert shocked alien-face emoji. And, sad-face emoji.]
(Oh and for you math wizards… I know that doesn’t add up to 100%. The rest said “sometimes” or something else that was one off. Because, surveys.)
Like, those results are just so sad. I wonder how things would change if we all answered this question with “often.”
Because if we can’t have fun and do things that we love at least sometimes, then what’s actually the point of this whole existence thing?
4- Focus on the facts.
What is true? What do you know? Focus on that. The rest is just hearsay.
5- Get out of your head.
Instead of keeping in all of your worries, talk to someone about it. Sometimes even just saying it aloud makes you realize how crazy and far-fetched it can sound. And, getting that validation and compassion from someone you trust can stop the record from skipping.
Remember, if you are feeling worried today…
* change things
* control things
* prevent things
And fortunately – and unfortunately – this too shall pass.
Because worrying won’t change the outcome, it will only take away the present.