We all worry about one thing or another. We worry about our jobs, our children, our family members, our dogs and so on. Sometimes it seems impossible to control such worries, as they nag at you while you‘re trying to fall asleep or wake you up in the middle of the night without letting you drift back away to dreamland.
When you think about it, worrying is quite illogical since it doesn‘t change the outcome of events. If we lose sleep, we won‘t be able to perform as well at our jobs, which in turn will make us worry more, lose more sleep and so on. The worries are, however, a useful tool in helping us distinguish between things that we should pay attention to at this time and things that can wait until later and that is what we should be focusing on using them for.
I am a worrier myself but throughout the years I feel I have managed to take control of my worries. I do so by imagining the worst possible outcome and finding a solution for it or, if there is none available, accepting the inevitable. It is not that I am aiming for the worst possible result but the knowledge that I can fix even that makes me feel so much better about any other outcome and that calms my worries.
Let‘s for example say that I am worried about losing my job. What I could do is look at the classifieds, to see how many available jobs there are in my field and check if there is something I need to do to make myself qualified for some positions. That could be a course, a specific program or a diploma that will make me a more valiable applicant. By taking such action and adding to my education and experience I will not only be a better potential employee should I lose my job, but I will also be a more valued one at my current position.
Another option would be me worrying about having enough money for the down payment of the apartment I‘m buying or to pay off my current mortgage. What I‘d do in that situation is first go through my freezer, fridge and cabinets to see what I have and for how long I can go without buying more food aside from vegetables, fruit and dairy products. Then I‘d open my spreadsheet and calculate how much I‘m going to be spending until set payment and in another tab of my spreadsheet I‘d write down everything I‘m spending for the next week. That way I can evaluate if I‘m going to be able to make it or not.
Let‘s say that I‘m not going to be able to make it, in which case I have to react. First, I‘d have to figure out whether this was going to be a regular problem or just a one time thing. If it‘s just this one once, I‘d see if I have some friends who could lend me money, but if this looks like a problem for the forseeable future, then I‘m forced to change my ways. In which case there‘s the option of an extra job, selling the car and using public transport, downsizing, being really smart with my shopping and so on. There is always a solution, it‘s just the matter of finding one that fits you best.
When it comes to worrying about your loved ones, that is probably the hardest one to control since you can‘t affect the outcome by yourself. In these situations you have to train yourself to let go if these are grown individuals who are capable of taking care of themselves. By letting go I mean allowing them to be free to do their own thing since they are the ones responsible for themselves, not you. You can of course give them advice, but no pushing it on them since that means you‘re taking responsibility. Let them choose what to do with the advice. I know this is hard, since I struggle with it myself, but little by little we can do it and the funny thing is, it‘s going to be the best thing for everybody, not just you.