Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. – Leo F. Buscaglia
Worry is a human instinct related to immediate danger. When we existed as hunter-gatherers, worry played a vital role in our survival. However, since the agricultural revolution, this day-to-day primitive worry transformed into worry about the future. Farmers had to think about the upcoming weather, animals that could affect their yield and changes in the economy. Unlike hunter-gatherers who received daily feedback about whether their decisions were furthering their survival needs, agriculture brought society a new set of psychological stresses. People had to invest their efforts into uncertainties, hoping that it supported their distant future.
Modern society, obsesses about future, even more so, than our farming predecessors. Many of our goals (such as pay and holidays) lie days or weeks ahead, whereas others (such as academic degrees, job promotions, new homes, and retirement) may be years in the future. Unlike our ancestors, much of what we do, each day, is directed toward future outcomes rather than toward what we need today. It’s perfectly normal to live in the future and sacrifice the present. However, this type of living is incredibly damaging to our minds. It encourages and breeds, incessant worry. Thinking about your future and having goals is one thing, but obsessively worrying is plain unhealthy.
So, how can you rid yourself of future worry and ease your mind? Here are 5 great ways to rid of your future worries;
1.Worrying wastes the present
If you’re prone to worrying about your future, start to think about the regrets you may have about your past. Think about it this way, future worries are outside of your control but the present moment is entirely within your realm of control. Appreciate the time you have and don’t waste it worrying about things that might not ever happen.
2. You can’t control the future
You (nor anybody else) can control the future. Your incessant worry isn’t going to change how your future unfolds. As a rule of thumb, worry about what’s in your circle of control and nothing more. It’s a great rule to live by and it will certainly help your overall wellbeing and life enjoyment.
3. You incorrectly think worrying solves problems
Worrying does not solve problems but in fact, generates them. Problem-solving is constructive and practical, worrying is redundant, exhausting and leaves you feeling helpless.
If you incorrectly think that you can anticipate the problems of the future, you will justify your worrying. Once you begin believing this false (but common) justification, worrying becomes an obsession. Soon you just won’t be able to stop.
Let go of your future worries and start solving the problems of today.
4. Worriers lack the ability to focus
Worriers tend to be in a vicious cycle of dwelling on the negative things that might happen in their future. They have problems making decisions for today especially if it concerns their job, family, and other crucial things.
Taking control of your today is a way to alleviate your future worries. Shift the focus from what “might happen” to what “is happening”. The more present and conscious you are for your current decisions; the more faith you will have in your future. You will trust in your path – why? Because you carved it with deliberation.
5. Worriers are not confident that they can deal with life’s hurdles
Worriers typically create future problems and solutions and then spend the rest of their time, fearing of their inability to cope if things don’t work out as planned. Interestingly, that same worrier will perform well during a crisis. This is because they’ve spent a lot of time considering the worst scenario which makes them able to cope. However, non-worriers can perform just as well or even better, in a crisis. The only difference being that non-worries haven’t exhausted their brain with incessant worry. Non-worriers have the confidence that no matter what happens they can deal with it. This mindset is incredibly empowering and something we should all aim for.