There is no worse a feeling than waking up in the middle of the night and worrying about a problem whether it’s personal or work related. That worry seems to get bigger and bigger as your chances of sleep get smaller and smaller. It takes on a life of it’s own and the frustration levels rise and rise. In the morning, you’re tired, short with people and the problem is still there, seemingly larger than life having robbed you of your sleep.
In a previous blog I have mentioned a few ways to make your soul happier (http://bit.ly/making_your_soul_happier) which for me, included dancing and running. In the process of taking my own advice (which sometimes can be tough to do), I went for a run this morning. As I was running, a skip lorry drove past me and a brick sized piece of wood flew out of the back and landed a few metres in front of me. I had been thinking about something that was coming up that was worrying me and was stopped dead in my tracks by what could have been a serious knock to the head.
This pulled me up short in more than one way. Why do we spend time worrying about the future when the present is what we really need to be thinking of? You have no control over what might happen. You can only control what you are doing at that moment in time, at that one spot in your life.
The choices you make and how you react to issues that come up are not what only makes you as a person but what shape your future.
How can you manage this then and not worry about what might be around the corner? This is quite a tall order but there are some mechanisms that your clever brain can implement to help.
1) Live more in the moment. When you’re doing something that you enjoy, enjoy it. Sounds simple and is easier said than done but just try it. Focus on your breath when you’re running, feel the love you have for your child when they laugh, pay attention to a sunny day and just shut your eyes and breathe. You will enjoy that moment so much more if you don’t think of anything else but what is going on for you and around you right there and then. Take a really big breath and then release it very slowly. You never know, It might give you some clarity around your issues as well.
2) Talk to someone who can help. They may have an alternative option that you just hadn’t thought about. A problem shared is a problem halved as the old saying goes. Talk to a friend for support or a business coach if it’s about your job or your business. Someone who is not physically living that worry could offer some much needed relief and a path through to a solution.
3) If you really can’t stop the worry, use your mind in a more constructive way and dig deep into it. Think back to when you were in a similar situation before: what happened, what did you do, what was the outcome and were you happy with this outcome? If yes, fantastic. Do something similar again. If not, think back to what you should have done instead and do that. Hindsight is a really wonderful thing so use it. Use your mind in a logical way, perhaps write each stage down and compare these steps to your current worry. At least that way if the worst outcome occurs, you have a plan to manage it.
Say you lived to be 80 years old. You would have been on this planet for roughly 29220 days and let’s say for a third of that you’d be asleep ( or sometimes wide awake worrying) so you have 19480 days of which you’re technically facing the world. Do you want to waste even one of those through worry? That’s 19479 days due to that problem at work. That’s 19478 days due to the issues with your brother’s wedding. You are the only person who can control your life and make your choices so do just that. Choose if you can not to worry. I’d love to say carpe diem at this point but instead will say you never know what’s around the corner which may be a brick of wood coming towards your body so enjoy what you have in the present and live for the here and now.