As Afa, the beautiful Jack Russell I’m blessed to be living with here in Cyprus, barked and barked at this cat, I couldn’t help but think about how we humans do the same thing.
I highlighted the cat in the picture, but it’s still barely visible. In real life I had a hard time finding the cat as well.
For me, this cat represents the abundant worry we have in our lives. There is always something to worry about. What we worry about may change over time, but worry remains a constant throughout our lives. Though we may look back in time and laugh at what once occupied so much of our worry, it doesn’t make what we worry about at present any less daunting.
However, as the image above shows, all too often we worry about things on the periphery, far removed from our daily life. Here are some tips for dealing with worries.
- Ask yourself if your worry is really worth worrying about today
- If it is, acknowledge the worry and file it away for when you can take care of it. Maybe even write it down so you don’t worry about forgetting it.
- If it isn’t worth worrying about, discard it. Again, maybe even write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away.
- Worry is an innate instinct. It has helped us survive and thrive this long as a species. But with bears, bacteria, and battle not a threat for most of us in our daily lives, it manifests itself differently. Being conscious of this helps to dismiss worries, realizing that there is a part of your brain designed to keep you alive but it’s starved for real threats.
- Don’t give your worries your energy and time. Modern life is already draining enough as it is. Letting worries suck any more precious energy out of you leaves you vulnerable. Don’t do it. Say “No” in your head even.
- Ask yourself “What if?” What is the worst that could happen if what you are worrying about comes true. If you can live with it, then no need to worry about it.
- Share. Many of your worries are probably irrational. Sometimes it helps to share them with others so they can give you a dose of reality.
- Worry often results from fearing an inability to overcome a challenge. If you change your attitude a bit to welcome challenges, and believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, you can convert rational worries to challenges that then motivate you.
- Exercise. It just helps.
The most important point above is being conscious of your worry, realizing that it’s an invading entity in what should otherwise be a tranquil and balanced state of mind. Once you realize it’s there, you can take the steps necessary to overcome it.
Do you have other tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
About Adam Pervez
In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.