Do you worry too much? This article is for you then.

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. “

Epictetus

Today I let my worries take over my mind. I had to realize how much I am influenced when I create something to worry about and let my thoughts—based on fear—occupy my mind. 

If you follow me for a while you know that I have two daughters and just recently became empty nesters. My older daughter came home yesterday from her vacation in Thailand and I knew she arrived home safely.  I texted her later to ask a question, and she didn’t reply. I don’t expect her to reply right away but 10 hours later I was freaking out silently. What happened? Is she all right? 

It ruined my day, and I was thinking of all the scenarios. Or at least what I thought is possible. It wasn’t a pretty picture. I felt terrible. 

Finally, when she replied it turned out she has a jet leg, turned off the phone and went to sleep for most of the day. Logical isn’t it? 

Why do we make a big deal out of something that is logical? Why do we drive ourselves crazy allowing our fear taking over our common sense? 

I came up with some ideas of the why and what we can do before we freak out all the time when someone doesn’t reply in the minute we text or call them.

When I was a kid, I grew up with my grandma and my parents. I am an only child and they overprotected me. Honestly, I hated it. I couldn’t eat ice cream because they thought I would get the sore throat. When I was selected to go to a summer camp—for free—my teacher had to come to our house and convince my parents in person I will be well and nothing bad is going to happen. 

I decided at a young age I would be different if I will have kids. I will let them do stuff, go to summer camps and I will encourage instead of overprotecting. 

Kinga was born first, later Noemi and I did a good job. I allowed them to try different things; I sent them out to summer camps, back to Europe to their grandparents, and they were doing well. 

Something interesting happened when they both moved out. I worried about them a lot more than before. 

It doesn’t matter what your parents say; it matters how they act. Children learn everything by seeing what their parents do. Even though I hated the overprotection and constant fear and worry this is what I learned as a kid and finally it caught upon me. 

Now it is my job to deal with it.  I know how hard it was on me that my parents were fearful about my every action. I suspect this might be a factor of me moving so far away later in my life, from Hungary to Canada. 

This is what we can do when worry takes over.

1.    Do something that occupies your mind. For me, it’s writing, working on my posts and my business. Focus on your work instead of your worries. 

2.    Listen to an Audiobook that makes you feel better. It is an excellent way to stir our thoughts in a different direction.

3.    Remind yourself that in the past many times you were worried and nothing bad happened. Mark Twain said, and it is true: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

4.    Trust your loved ones and the Universe more! You cannot save anyone by worrying about them. It robs you from your peace of the now.

5.    Emotional freedom technique or tapping is helping me to calm down. There is this excellent script I do when I feel worrying takes over about a particular person: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s3caCfSOTE

6.    Worrying is a habit, not a personality. It is a learned behavior and you can change it. It requires discipline but we all can do it.  Imagine, you have apples in a bowl. One is rotten. What do you do with it? You throw it away because you don’t want all the apples to be rotten. This is what you have to do with your thoughts too. You have these unsupportive fear-based thoughts. Throw them away before you have no room for healthy thoughts! 

7. There are times when bad things happen. Unfortunately, worrying can’t prevent it.  Anxiety and worry are always happening in the future. Be in the moment. Until we don’t know what’s happening, we should not assume that something is wrong. Be smart enough to live your life in the moment, now. The past already happened, and the future is not here yet. 

I hope these ideas are helping you to deal with your worries.  What are your thoughts about this topic? 

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