Here’s an exercise that just might help you worry less this year.
Make a list of the ten specific things you worried about the most over the last year. Then review each item on that list with the benefit of hindsight, and ask yourself two questions:
1. Was the worry justified at the time?
2. Did worrying improve the outcome?
I’m not suggesting we don’t face situations in life where worrying is both natural and justified. A family member gets sick. Your taxes get audited. You don’t get the financial aid you needed and aren’t sure how you’ll pay for college. You can’t just smile your way through everything.
But as you look at that list of ten, my guess is that many of those things you worried about either never ended up happening, or had outcomes that worrying did nothing to improve.
So as we all enter into 2018, the next time you find yourself worrying about something, take a step back and ask: (1) Is this worth worrying about? (2) Will worrying improve the outcome? If the answer to either one is no, maybe it’s time to give not worrying a try. Imagine what you could do with all that energy you spent on worrying last year.
Happy New Year!