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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

OK, I admit that worrying often is my challenge – I don’t want to worry but it just happens again and again…

– What will happen if I do hip replacement surgery? Will I still be able to ski and do yoga?

– What if the airplane crashes?

– What if my book doesn’t succeed?

– What if my husband falls asleep while driving long distance?

– What if I don’t get along with my daughter’s husband? What if she doesn’t have a husband?

– What if my daughter doesn’t find a job that she likes?

– What if my mom needs me to be by her side and I am not there?

– What if my old neck injury causes the unbearable pain like it did last time?

– What if………………….? (feel the blank)

You see the pattern… The good thing is that I have a clear awareness about my worries. If you’re anything like me, you experience worries unconsciously, while realizing that they are not helpful, not healthy, and sometimes harmful. So, as with any habit that you want to change, it’s useful to start with the questions “WHY do you feel that way?” and then “What can you do to change it?”

Why do you feel that way? Why do you worry? Most likely, it’s the sense of uncertainty that is uncomfortable, disturbing, or just plain scary. You promptly think about all the possible scenarios that may happen and none of them are pretty… You experience the fear of uncertainty. Although UNCERTAINTY is a natural aspect of our existence, it causes many (present company included) to get really crazy with “what if” scenarios. Worry – the unconscious reflex to uncertainty – becomes a habit that you have to deal with again and again… and again.

What can you do to change it? You cannot “force” yourself to stop worrying, it doesn’t work. A notorious “positive thinking” attitude doesn’t work too well either. But here is what has worked for me:

Focus: Bringing my attention back from the future to the present moment. We always worry about the future while not staying enough in the present. Appreciating “things” in your “NOW” – your health, your loved ones, your home, your food, nature, etc. I am sure you’ve read a lot about the Power of NOW, but really practicing it with committed consistency is what makes a difference.

Prayer: Praying for guidance, for peace of mind, for clarity, for direction.

Faith: Believing that no matter what, things will work out just fine. You don’t need to know How, just know that they will.

Law of Relativity: Shift your Perspective and see the bigger picture in life. This is a line from Wayne Dyer: ”Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”.

Letting go: Once we are willing to let go of the things we cannot control, we can focus on what we can control and take action

Worrying is like any other habit – to change it you need to replace it with a healthier habit. Here is one possible suggestion by Christopher Reed “When things are bad, you really have to laugh”.

So, what do you do about your worry habit? How do you handle fear of Uncertainty?

To Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness,

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