Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States. He was a central figure of the 20th century during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war.
What, Me Worry?
Alfred E. Neuman
is the fictional mascot of Mad Magazine
What is the difference between healthy concern and worry? I am talking about the kind of worry that takes the joy out of life, keeps people from getting a good night's sleep, and makes one confused, not knowing what to do. What I mean is the kind of worry that leads to tears, domestic strife, and feelings of hopelessness; where one just wants to give up and escape to Fantasy Island. This kind of worry paralyzes and leads to more problems rather than the solving of problems.
Healthy concern without paralyzing worry, leads to control over our lives. We can think clearly without the panic adrenaline caused by fear and worry. When our emotions get too big and overwhelming, we sometimes find we are not as smart as we are when we can reduce the worry to a concern. Concerns we can do something about. Worry only leads to hopelessness. Worry is very much like panic and people who panic are not very good during emergencies. The survivors have "cool" heads.
People are losing jobs, homes and spouses and they are certainly justified in their worry. But that worry will only hurt them and weaken them for fighting to get out of their crisis. If you are experiencing a crisis right now or think you will in the near future, then it is important to stay calm, aware, and creative.
Worry, is a big subject and when I thought I would write an article on it, I decided to do some research. One of the best books on the subject is How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. Of course, this article will barely touch on all the nuances of the subject, but perhaps you will find some tools that will help you through some worry that you are experiencing or that a friend or loved one is experiencing.
The following are some ways of thinking that will make one stronger and better able to meet any challenge. These ways of thinking help take the panic out and put back in our own empowerment.
1) Take one day at a time. Do not regret the past—it does not exist. Do not fear the future—it may never happen. Tape the following poem on your mirror and read it every day.
Salutation to the Dawn
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation to the dawn
was a renowned Classical Sanskrit writer, widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language. His floruit cannot be dated with precision, but most likely falls within the Gupta period, probably in the 4th or 5th century or 6th century.
2) When you have a big thing to worry about, ask yourself
- What is the worst that could happen?
- If that happened, how would I deal with it?
- Calmly start improving on the worst. What little actions could I do now?
3) Worry causes poor health. People who worry have more stress, get less sleep, overeat, or don't eat enough, don't get enough exercise, and don't think in a positive way. Remind Yourself that worry is not good for your health.
4) Check to see if you have a real reason to worry. List all aspects of the problem, causes, solutions, and the best solution.
- Get the facts
- Weigh the facts and come to a decision
- Act on your decision
5) Keep your mind busy with action. Do not allow your mind any time to build up stress over worry. Do something to solve your problems, this will reduce worry.
- Dismiss the little irritations in life as too unimportant for you to think or complain about.
- Think—what are the odds? If it is unlikely, then stop thinking about the possibility. I never worry about an asteroid destroying the planet—the odds against it are too great.
- If you can't do anything to change the outcome, then stop thinking about the horrible negatives—it will only weaken you.
- Decide that you will allow yourself a specific amount of time to worry and then after that time period, you will refuse to worry.
- Stop thinking about the BAD past—it only diminishes your strength and present.
6) Our minds can't think two thoughts at once. Replace worry thoughts with thoughts of prosperity, courage, peace, health, hope, and love.
- Make others happy, forget your own unhappiness, volunteer and make others lives a little better—you will soon be happy too.
- Think of all your blessings and things that are going right. Be grateful for these things.
- Surround yourself with positive people whom you respect. We become like the people with whom we associate.
- Never think thoughts of revenge or ways to get even. Pray for your enemies. Forgive them. You don't have a minute to spare for negative thoughts.
- Be yourself—be an original. Copies are sold at discount.
- Find the blessing in the problem. People have become millionaires by solving problems. The solution to your problem may be a once in a lifetime super blessing.
- If someone doesn't love you or is ungrateful, then that is their problem—don't let them make it into your problem. Most people never thank and few show love. These same people may be shy about showing gratitude or love.
7) Believe in God, Allah, Buddha, a Higher Intelligence, an Infinite Intelligence, Higher Power, or Something Greater than one's self and pray or meditate and search for answers, inspiration, and confidence. It has been found that people who pray are better survivors and tend not to worry as much as those who do not pray.
There are many more strategies to stop worry. But perhaps the best strategy of all is to seek out happiness and purpose. We are what we focus on the most. Don't focus on eliminating worry; focus on creating the most fantastic life you can imagine. But if you do worry, use some of the above strategies. Some of the best and brightest got there by using these same strategies.
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Copyright © 2009 Kurt W. DuNard-- Permission is granted to reprint this article only if credit is given the author with the following phase "by Kurt DuNard, The Exceptional Life Coach."
Kurt DuNard, The Exceptional Life Coach, is the author of EXCEPTIONAL LIFE: Living the Life You Were Meant to Live. High achievers seek him out to pinpoint their soul's goals, increase abundance, and find more happiness and joy. If you think you would also like these things, then receive your FREE success tools from Kurt DuNard now at www.DuNard.com.