Worried about the future?


Photo by Popsicle

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

-Corrie Ten Boom

Worry has become epidemic lately – like the plague. Finances, jobs, morality, kids, politics. It seems the whole world is worried.

The thing about worry though, is it only seems productive. You don’t accomplish anything but getting stressed, impairing your health and feeling grumpy.

It puts us in a state where we aren’t thinking clearly. We are only thinking through fear and what if’s. We are less able to handle life. What happens will happen whether we worry about it or not.

Here are some tips to decrease your worry:

  • If you are feeling worried, the first thing to do is write it down. I find if I write it in a journal, my mind doesn’t have to keep going over it again and again.
  • Taking a long walk can help you get back into a state where you can deal with your worry.
  • Check your breathing. Are you breathing shallowly? Your mind needs as much oxygen as possible so take a deep breath.
  • Take the optimistic view about what could happen. Running an endless loop about what could go wrong doesn’t make anything better.
  • Put on some peppy, happy music and see how fast you brighten up.
  • Take a certain time to worry each day and postpone worry to that time (but, not close to bedtime). During that time you can worry, but then try to shift into problem solving.
  • Make a plan to deal with what you are worried about. If finances have you scared, start saving. Sell some things. If you are worried about your job, start getting feelers out for other jobs. Have your brain focus on finding your options.
  • If you are in a situation you don’t know how to get out of – ask for help.
  • After your worry time, soothe yourself with breathing, music, reading, yoga, prayer, or a comedy.
  • Do something for someone else. Get your mind of your life for a bit.
  • Write down what is going good in your life. What do you have right now that you can be thankful for? Most of what we worry about isn’t even affecting the present moment.
  • Work on strengthening yourself for what happens through self-care and exercise, creating a supportive community, and building character.
  • Question whether these worries are even realistic. Will you really get fired if you make one mistake? Will your friends really hate you if you miss the party? Will you really die if you have to give a speech?
  • Remember, these negative thoughts are not necessarily true. Most often the things you worry about never happen. We are pretty bad about predicting the future.
  • Turn off the news for awhile. The news feeds the worry machine. Just turn it off.
  • Remember when you handled bad situations well and with strength. You can do it again!

Enjoy today and live your life the best way you know how. Tomorrow will come and it might be marvelous.