Amy Rees Anderson

Worrying

“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” – Mark Twain

What a fabulous quote by Mark Twain! And SO TRUE! Worrying is a crazy thing if you think about it. It has no redeeming value as the act of worrying does absolutely nothing to impact the outcomes. All it does is cause you stress and make your life miserable. So why do we do it??…

I grew up with a mother who is a constant worrier. Amazing mother, but constant worrier. The woman worries about absolutely everything, and I truly mean everything. She has read every urban legend ever published anywhere on the internet and she worries about every single one of them. And then she forwards them on to me and all of my siblings as a warning of “what might happen if we are not careful.” She has emailed us to warn us of toxic spores that might occupy our pillow when we sleep at night to slowly kill us. She has emailed us the warnings of everything from underwire bras causing cancer to laptops that when placed too close to a males private parts will destroy their ability to father a child. I kid you not. The woman worries about absolutely everything. Her life is filled with worry.

As I became a young adult myself I found that I too began worrying about everything, allowing myself to stress about the “what could happen” or “what might happen”. I spent years worrying about things which did absolutely nothing other than to make me an anxious person and it caused anxiety for the people in my life. Then one day when I was spending time with my mom it hit me…oh my goodness…I am becoming a worrier just like her. And I realized I had to change it.

I am a person who believes in being very proactive about changing the things in our life that we are unhappy with and so I read book after book on worrying and positive thinking and I even spent time talking to a counselor on how to overcome worry through cognitive therapy where you are taught to control your thoughts in order to help change your emotions. One of the little exercises I learned in regards to controlling worry was the art of postponing your worry. That probably sounds a little silly but there really is merit to trying it and it genuinely helps you to overcome your own worries.

Here is an article that explains a little bit about that process:

“Learning to postpone worrying:

1. Create a “worry period.” Choose a set time and place for worrying. It should be the same every day (e.g. In the living room from 6:00 to 6:20 p.m.) and early enough that it won’t make you anxious right before bedtime. During your worry period, you’re allowed to worry about whatever’s on your mind. The rest of the day, however, is a worry-free zone.

 2. Postpone your worry. If an anxious thought or worry comes into your head during the day, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone it to your worry period. Remind yourself that you’ll have time to think about it later, so there’s no need to worry about it right now. Save it for later and continue to go about your day.

 3. Go over your “worry list” during the worry period. Reflect on the worries you wrote down during the day. If the thoughts are still bothering you, allow yourself to worry about them, but only for the amount of time you’ve specified for your worry period. If the worries don’t seem important any more, cut your worry period short and enjoy the rest of your day.

Postponing worrying is effective because it breaks the habit of dwelling on worries in the present moment. Yet there’s no struggle to suppress the thought or judge it. You simply save it for later. As you develop the ability to postpone your anxious thoughts, you’ll start to realize that you have more control over your worrying than you think. “

In addition to trying those things I also read book after to book to help me. I absolutely love inspirational books! I found a fabulous book that I absolutely loved that also taught me about the value of letting go and doing your best and trusting that things would be as they should be. It was written by an Indian Author named Deepak Chopra. The book is called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and it is a seriously fabulous book and I would highly recommend it to everyone as a great read. It changed my life.

All of these things I did really helped me to change my own thinking patterns and to let go of the worry because there was no value that would result from being worried. All of these things helped me to realize that God was in charge and I had to just learn to let go and trust that life would turn out as it should so there was truly no need to be worried.

Yes bad things might happen, but they will happen whether you worry or not. And nine times out of ten the things you worried about will never ever come to pass and you will have spent all of your energy worrying for absolutely nothing! What a waste of a beautiful life.

So today’s challenge is DON’T WORRY about things. Have faith and trust that things are as they should be and they are all in place to help make your life absolutely amazing!!

~Amy

7 Comments

  • Heidi says:

    Thank you, Amy. My kids were both pretty anxious when they were younger, due to our family events. They would constantly ask “What if ….?“. I would let them ask 2 or 3 scenarios and then my answer was “What if the sky falls in?“ My son said, “Well I can`t do anything about that.“ He then understood that there are many things you can`t do anything about so don`t worry about what might happen.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the positive words!! you are correct, it seems that we get lost in the worry … great advise ..

  • Michelle says:

    My 5 kids are constantly asking “what if…..“ There was so much upheaval in their life early on that could not be prevented and that I could not do anything about. It took years of me constantly reminding them, “If worrying won`t fix it, don`t bother doing it.“ I was so proud of my youngest last night at her swim meet when she was talking to one of her little friends. Her friend was worried about the races coming up. I heard her tell her friend, “worrying won`t change anything, so why why bother doing it!“ PROUD MOM MOMENT!! I guess she finally gets it!!

  • Christopher says:

    Don`t worry. Be happy.

  • Barrett says:

    Im anxious about EVERYTHING! You name it. Makes my financ`e upset sometimes but she understands its just how I am. It helps me to talk it out and rrealize how silly they are sometimes to worry all the time. Thanks Amy for the posts 🙂

  • Connie says:

    When my hubby and I were running our little business and we paid everyone before we paid ourselves life was all worry. The worst was to get a notice late in the day and I could not do a thing because it was after work day hours. Finally, I heard an older wiser man talk about railroad engineers. He said , The engine light shines bright 100 feet down the track at night and as long as everything is ok as far as he can see he does not worry what is beyond the lights. I chose a day each month to stay home and worry while I paid the bills during the day time, when I could call and work things out. and after I had done all I could . I could always see to the end of the month we were ok. Then it began to be just half a day , then an hour. Then I stopped worrying at all especially abut paying the bills. Great advise , Amy, worring only makes you sick. and rob you of the joy all around.

  • Otto says:

    Excellent reminder for me! I read a book called “The How of Happiness“ written by Sonja Lyubomirsky that talks about this and other things you can do to become a happier person. Amy inspires me to be a better person and I truly apperciate all of the knowledge and advice she gives all of us in her tweets. Thank you Amy, I feel blessed to be part of such a great company!

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