By Lori Hanson
How many times have you spent a whole lot of time and energy worrying and stressing and being anxious and stressing out about something you had no control over? And when the day finally came where you got an answer, made it to the other side or found out the result of the situation, sigh…it was all okay. Or much better than you expected.
Do you know what you put your body through by doing that? Stress makes your body toxic, it adds fat around your mid-section and you’re creating acidity in your body which paves the way for pain and disease. Why would you want to do that? For some, it’s a habit. A well-ingrained habit of how they get through the day.
Consider the life of Wendell the Worrier. From the moment he wakes up it starts. He worries about being late for work (and he is), he’s worried what his boss is going to say about the project he is working on that he just knows isn’t good enough. He is worried about the lunch he has with clients today and if he picked the right restaurant, or if they’ll hate it and stop working with his firm because of it (okay, a little over dramatic).
He worries about his sixteen year old daughter and the friends she hangs out with, and whether they’re doing drugs or drinking and certainly hopes his daughter won’t end up getting pregnant from that boy she throws herself at. He worries about his parents who are in declining health and live out-of-state and how he will ever manage to care for them and his teens at the same time. He worries that he’ll run out of gas before he gets to the gas station. He worries that it will snow and get really icy before he leaves work, he worries that the Bronco’s will lose the Super Bowl (oops they already did). And on it goes. This is the flavor, pace and focus of each and every day for him.
It kinds of wears you out just reading it, doesn’t it? And many times all the worry is for naught! You have a choice whether to spend your waking hours worried about everything you can’t control, or you can keep focused on and expect the best possible outcomes to situations that show up in your life. In the end, if the result is between the worst case and best case, you didn’t beat up your body and brain in the process stressing out!
The next time you realize you’re worrying about something stop and ask yourself three things:
1. Can I control this situation?
If the answer is no, you’ve got to let it go.
2. What can I do to make this situation or issue easier to deal with?
If there is anything you can do to ease the waiting for a decision, waiting for an outcome for a teen that’s in trouble with the law, or getting the results of an ultrasound, than do it.
3. What can I learn from this situation?
Don’t give yourself a prescription for the end of the world just because there is a “situation.” It’s an opportunity, look for the lesson that life is giving you. Yes, some lessons are a lot more painful than others. But there is always a new door that opens when another closes.
Be grateful for the situation and what you learn from it. If you’re zipping through life on auto-pilot and not paying attention, you’ll likely miss the message and then (and this could suck) you’ll have the opportunity to encounter the lesson again.
Make life a little easier; reduce the stress by leaving the worrying to the worry warts.