This Could Banish Worry From Your Life –
We’ve all worried about something at some point in our lives. And many of us still worry about things constantly.
It drains our mental and physical energy. It keeps us from living a full life. And it can even impact our health.
The good news is, you can let go of worry the very moment it rears its ugly head.
I should know. I’m typically a “worrywart,” always contemplating the “what-ifs” of any given situation.
But recently, I’ve been reading Dale Carnegie’s classic book on the subject, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
It’s helped me a great deal and has brought calm to my life. I’d like to share the strategies that have helped me the most. (It’s amazing how they are just as relevant and useful today as they were when Carnegie first penned the book in 1944.)
Keep busy. “The worried person must lose himself in action, lest he wither in despair,” writes Dale. Very true. If you’re engaged in life, doing things you enjoy and keeping your mind challenged, you’ll find that you don’t have time to worry! So find things to do. Work on a project that will move some area of your life forward. Be engaged in your work. Go for a walk. Do something productive to keep your mind in the present, away from the temptation of worry.
Live in day-tight compartments. Don’t put off living in the present in order to worry about the future. You can’t change the past, and the future isn’t here yet. So live your life fully.
For example, maybe you’re swamped with client work, but you’re at a family gathering. Instead of worrying about how you’re going to get all that work done, recognize that there’s nothing you can do about it in the moment. Instead, enjoy your family. Be present with them. Then when it’s time to work, work.
Solve problems as soon as they pop up. Get into the habit of forcing yourself to solve problems that come up in your work and life as soon as they present themselves. Don’t put them off and distract yourself with something else. You’ll find that the sooner you take care of it, the sooner you’ll de-stress and be able to relax.
In this case, maybe you’ve been busy with your current projects but have been neglecting marketing yourself and your business. Instead of stressing and worrying about marketing yourself so you can have a steady stream of work coming in, roll up your sleeves and do at least one thing to market yourself – right now.
Cooperate with the inevitable. Here, Dale states, “If you know a circumstance is beyond your power to change or revise, say to yourself: ‘It is so; it cannot be otherwise.’” Bottom line: accept the things you can’t change. Since they can’t be changed, there’s no point in worrying about them. Your energy is better spent doing something productive or emotionally fulfilling.
Maybe a client promised you a big project, but now they’ve called to let you know it’s been cancelled due to budget cuts. Sure, you can throw a fit, get mad, and fume for days on end. After all, you were counting on that project! But the truth is, “It is what it is.” Stressing about it won’t help you. Instead, focus your energy on the solutions you can put into action right now.
There’s also a four-step strategy Dale shares, which is incredibly effective at managing worry:
- Ask yourself, “What am I worrying about?” Before you can solve a problem, you need to know what you’re dealing with. So get all the facts about the situation.
- Ask yourself, “What can I do about it?” Brainstorm any and all possible answers. Don’t censor yourself. Even the most ridiculous answers are okay during this step.
- Analyze and decide. Once you’ve got all the possible answers to: “What can I do about it?” it’s time to analyze your answers and choose the one you think is best.
- Take action as soon as possible. Once you know what you’re going to do, DO IT! Don’t wait a moment longer. The sooner you handle this, the sooner you’ll be able to move on and start enjoying your life again.
If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend you read Dale’s book. There are plenty more strategies you can use for any worry-inducing situation.
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