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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 3:40 AM

The pitfall of worry

GUEST COLUMN | Bryan Golden

Everyone is conditioned to worry. Our conditioning begins as soon as we learn to speak.

Since we see everyone around us worrying, we emulate their behavior.

There are no limits to what you worry about.

You worry about the past. You worry about the present.

You worry about the

future. You worry about what might happen. You worry about what might not happen. You worry about what other people think, say or do. You worry about the opinion others have of you. You worry about making mistakes.

You worry about what you say. You spend so much time and energy worrying that you feel something is wrong if you’re not worrying.

Although worry accomplishes nothing, there are many negative impacts.

Worry wastes time and energy. All the effort that goes into fretting about an issue is useless. You become drained without anything to show for it.

Worry causes elevated levels of stress. Since worry is ineffective, it provides no resolution for any problems. Your stress level rises, as you expend energy with no positive results. You then begin to start focusing on exactly what you don’t want. This progression is a downward spiral, which attracts the opposite of what you do want.

There are two categories of situations you will face. There are those circumstances beyond your control, and those you can influence. There is a strong tendency to worry about issues you have absolutely no control over. This causes additional frustration because you aren’t able to have any positive impact whatsoever.

There is nothing you can do to change situations beyond your control. Let go of issues you can’t do anything about. Instead, focus your actions on those situations which can be improved by your actions. Worry has a negative impact on the people around you. Those who care about you are concerned about your stress and frustration. When your nerves become frayed, there is an increased likelihood you will become increasingly irritable and angry.

Taking your frustration out on others only makes your situation worse.

Worry must be replaced by action. Action is the only thing which can make a positive difference. However, the time and energy you spend worrying diminishes your ability to take action. So, not only are you burning yourself out by worrying, you are missing opportunities for improving your situation by taking appropriate action.

Here are some strategies to avoid the pitfall of worry. Start by cutting free from the past.

There’s no point worrying about it. It’s over. Learn from the past. Don’t repeat the same mistakes. Do repeat those strategies which produced desirable results.

Don’t worry about other people. You can’t control them. You can’t change them. The only things you have control over are your thoughts and actions. This is how you overcome a basic pitfall of worry; focus on what you are thinking about and what you are doing, instead of what others are doing.

You have been worrying about things all of your life. It’s virtually impossible to instantly stop worrying. A more effective approach is to stop worrying in small increments. First, don’t worry about anything for just 15 minutes. It’s OK, you can do this. Next, don’t worry for an hour at a time. As you progress, you can get to the point where you stop worrying for an entire day.

You will experience how nice it feels to be worry free. You can train yourself to have a worryfree life. Since worry doesn’t accomplish anything positive, there is no rational reason to worry.

Put your effort into taking whatever positive action is necessary to deal with the issues you face.

Bryan is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits.” Contact Bryan at Bryan@columnist. com or visit www.

DareToLiveWithoutLimits. com Copyright 2024 Bryan Golden


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