According to Merriam-Webster, worry can be a verb: “Give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulties or troubles.” It can be a noun: “A state of anxiety or uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” Either way, you’re actively working it, or wrapped up in it. So how much time do you spend worrying about the future? Better question, how is all that worrying paying off for you?
Lori Deschene, in Worrying About the Future: On Trusting in Uncertainty, states: “Every time we use the present to stress about the future, we’re choosing to sacrifice joy today to mourn joy we might not have tomorrow.” Essentially, we’re cheating ourselves out of the current moment which will never come again.
The usual worry mantra sounds something like this. “What if…,” “What if (name your worry) does or doesn’t….,” “When will…,” “Where is….,” “How can I..,” “Why did I..” I can put the mantra to worry because I’ve been doing it for so long. And so have many of my friends.
Do you feel the stark cold terror in the middle of the night because your brain is trying to drive you crazy with questions, insecurities, and what ifs? Have you wasted a sum total of minutes, hours, days, months in a state of worry? Found your mind worrying about issues that may or may not happen when you should be paying attention to what is right in front of you? Have you tied yourself in knots over things you can’t control and certainly can’t predict? It’s crazy, but what do we do about the worry?
First and foremost, exorcize it through talking, writing, or whatever strategy will GET IT OUT into the open. Bringing worry from the darkest corners of your mind into the daylight is kinda like showing a child there really is no monster under the bed.
In most instances we are worried about what we project will happen – in the future – so we’re kinda making up the story in our heads! And since the future is really just an idea in your mind…the future doesn’t really exist in the moment you are worried. Kind of a crazy, viscous cycle – with the operative word being crazy. Realize I’m not pointing fingers, I know that crazy and am trying to rid it from my life.
The article “The Top Reasons to Stop Worrying About the Future” lists 7 reasons to knock that crap off. The reason to stop worrying I like best is:
- “to stop worrying about the future because when we are stressed we are less productive, meaning that by stressing about the future we are less likely to take proactive steps to make that future better.”
Worrying about the future does nothing but rob us of a moment we will never get back, for a moment that in all reality will not happen, and makes us less involved and productive in our present lives. Hhhmmm….if that doesn’t bring it all into focus.
Worrying about the future only makes me crazy and that is no state in which to live life. I’m dumping worry – I’m just not into it anymore – ’cause I’d rather be happy. How ’bout you?