Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. ~Swedish Proverb
Our imaginations are such an incredible gift, allowing us to daydream and envision incredible wonder.
As children, we used our vivid imaginations to create fun and exciting playmates and spectacularly fantastical situations in which we would ‘live’ for hours on end. Imagination was fun, funny and adventurous.
As adults, our imaginations often become a work-thing of worry.
We fret tirelessly over horrible situations our imagination dreams up, things that could happen, might happen, but most likely won’t happen. These worries drain us of our productivity, create undue stress, affect our sleep and our relationships.
Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get your anywhere. ~English proverb
Here are a few healthy habits that can help minimize worrying.
1. Realize most of what we spend time worrying about never comes to fruition
And if it does, we generally have spent hours stewing over a much worse outcome.
As Winston Churchill once said, “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
When we find ourselves worrying, we should ask:
“How many the things I feared would happen in my life actually did occur?”
By answering this question, we put things into perspective. We frequently find that the majority of our worries never came to light or were considerably less worrisome than we envisioned them to be.
2. Avoid getting lost in vague fears
We can easily work ourselves up over nothing when we let our imagination run wild when we lack clarity in a situation. Vague fears can lead to over-exaggerated scenarios. Gain clarity on the situation by taking deep breath and asking, “What is really the worst that could happen?” Then, spend some time identifying a solution should that unlikely scenario occur. This practice saves time, energy and a lot of suffering. Read more →