If someone tells you they don’t worry about anything, they’re probably not telling the truth. Worrying is a natural part of being human – in fact, it’s our body’s way of keeping us safe from harm. Of course, too much worrying, like too much of just about anything, can do more harm than good. Plus, in today’s world, there’s something new to worry about every single day. Not only does worrying wreak havoc on our minds and spirits, it’s the single most unproductive thing we can do. So how do we stop?
How do we balance staying safe with driving ourselves nuts with useless worry? It’s important to pay attention and recognize issues that we might have to face in the future – but instead of worrying, take the time to think through the issue and find a way to act on it. Here are the Top 5 things we needlessly worry about – and simple actions we can take to improve them:
If you’re like most people carrying around a few extra pounds, you spend a lot of time worrying about how your weight is affecting everything from your health to your love life. But worrying isn’t going to budge your bulge an inch. Like most issues people worry about, weight is something we tend to view as “all or nothing.” We say to ourselves, “I need to lose 10 pounds or I might as well stay like this.” Instead, focus on making small changes in your daily life, like walking more or controlling portion sizes. Losing even 10% of your current body weight will improve your health, give you a feeling of control over your own body – and significantly reduce your worries.
Worried about those bad genes your Great Aunt Mildred left you? While genetics play a part in your long-term health, your own choices can do just as much to shape your future. It sounds simple, but eating right, staying active, doing yoga, hiking, laughing and seeing your doctor for regular preventative care can do a lot to battle a negative family health history – and release you from one more worrisome issue in the back of your mind.
Money is another one of those “all or nothing” endeavors. Many people who spend sleepless nights worrying about how to get out of debt, pay monthly bills or enter retirement are the same people who take no steps to improve their financial situation. The idea is, if I’m already in debt, what’s one more credit card going to hurt? Or, if I can’t retire with a million dollars, why not at least enjoy myself now?
Even if superficially you’ve tricked yourself into thinking you’re okay about your finances, your subconscious knows better – and at some level, your entire body is worrying about your wallet. To build resources for the future, realize that any little bit counts. Paying off high interest credit cards and putting away even a few hundred dollars a month doesn’t seem like it will do much good, but it will actually go a long way in providing you with financial stability – and reduce your need for worry.
Most working people today have one overwhelming worry: How will I ever get it all done? The truth is, you probably won’t. We’re working in an age where there are endless opportunities – and responsibilities. So just tackle the most important things, knowing that there will always be something small that can get done later. Once the priorities are taken care of, there’s far less urgent work to do – and to worry about.
The fear of not finding true love is one of the greatest worries of most single adults today. Again, instead of worrying, take action. Put yourself in the path of other single people as often as you can – join clubs, do volunteer work, go to parties and out to dinner. Beyond that – you can learn to enjoy being alone! All the energy you usually devote to worrying about being single can be rerouted back into you.
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