Ever realize that you wasted so much time on anxiety? I can say I have. I’ve sabotaged my dreams, my health and my relationships. Finally I have gotten to my 40s and I’ve realized that it’s more time and energy than it’s worth. Being stuck because of what’s going on in my head is something I can’t afford. At this point in my life I’m hearing about people my age losing battles with cancer or getting knocked down by really crappy things. Life’s short. We don’t know what’s coming tomorrow.
But we have control over what’s going on in our minds right now. We have control over our actions and our reactions. That’s all we’ve got. We can choose positive thoughts and positive actions that’ll take us closer to our goals, dreams and our happiest future.
How do we get there?
We take action on things we can control. I feel anxious when I’ve got a lot of loose ends with insurance or finances. I know that neglecting these things is going to weigh heavily on my mind. Taking care of these issues, even if it’s painful at the time [sitting on hold with an insurance company is no fun, I can attest to this last Monday] but it eliminates any excess anxiety.
We focus on the tasks that will get us the results we want. If checking Facebook isn’t getting you closer to your goals, limit it and write that blog post, read that business book or prep your meals. I don’t think anyone has a shortage of productive activities on the to-do list in the back of their minds.
Work out your feelings quickly. I journal every single morning at the start of my day over a cup of rooibos tea. It’s at that time that I purge any dark feelings quickly on the pages and release any worries. Writing it out makes me feel better. It’s quick and private – the way I like to deal with things. You may feel better speaking to someone else. That’s cool if it’s your thing. The important thing is to get it out before it starts churning around in your mind and festering.
Let go of the past. There’s nothing I hate more than a therapist rehashing the past over and over again. It’s over. Most of us didn’t have a lot of control over the events of our childhood. The only thing we have control over is today. And ourselves. You can let it go and move forward. I don’t see the value in picking at old wounds. Healing happens when new experiences replace the old.
Surround yourself with awesome people. Negative people or people who constantly deride your dreams are not worthy of being in your life. It’s hard enough to stay positive and believe in yourself and it doesn’t help if you have someone constantly reinforcing the negative and pessimistic thought patterns you are trying to change. It’s painful, but necessary to end those kinds of relationships.
Say yes to yourself. So often we deny ourselves comfort or luxury and this only keeps us in a state of anxiety. Spoiling yourself doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It could be letting yourself have that extra hour of sleep or a long soak in the tub.
Ditch the anxiety and you’ll add precious hours to your life.