Want To Guess How Much Of What You Worry About Never Happens?
This Week's Simple Tip
We are all experiencing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty these days, which really is nothing new. In fact many years ago Mark Twain famously said: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” While that quote has generated laughs, worry is no joke. The stress hormones produced by worry have been linked to serious health problems including: shrinking brain mass, heart disease, cancer, premature aging, and clinical depression. Worry can also make seniors more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's.
We have learned that Mark Twain was right; most of what we worry about never happens. A study from the University of Cincinnati showed that 85% of what we worry about never actually happens. That is a lot of unnecessary worrying! So given its health risks and unproductiveness, how do we stop worrying? Unfortunately there isn't an on/off switch. By design we have some level of worry to protect ourselves. But here are four ways to limit the overthinking which leads to constant worrying. My favorite is practicing to accept uncertainty. By being mindful of your worries, you recognize and appreciate that some things you can control and others you cannot. Accepting those you cannot control frees you of worry. Just like in the great Mary Oliver poem "I Worried." Accepting uncertainty, the poem ends with "Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang."
This Week's Focus:
This week, be mindful of your worrying. Can you or can you not control what you are worrying about? If not, let it go so it does not steal your peace.
Click on the serenity sticky to print, cut and post on your bathroom mirror to remind you of this week's focus. Good luck!