Let’s face it. We all worry. No matter what age, there is always something to worry about. As a kid, it might’ve been who our friends would be on the playground. As a teen it might’ve been worrying about getting good grades to get into college, or gaining the courage to break away from the family and do what you want, regardless of their opinions. As a young single adult, it could be passing college, earning money to pay for school, groceries or a hundred other things. Then life happens, rent and car payments and eventually marriage and kids, and we gain an entirely new set of worries to add to our already full list.
So what good does worrying do? It's often debated and the main conclusion is, worry doesn’t really do much except cause more stress. A piece of advice I’ve received dozens of times in my life goes like this: “What can you do about it right now?” If the answer is nothing, try to stop that line of thinking. There’s nothing beneficial in making yourself sick with worry over a situation you can do nothing about in that moment. Take, for example, a young adult worrying at 3 in the morning about how rent is going to get paid. Well, what can that adult do at 3 in the morning? Not much. Take a deep breath, clear that process out and move on to something else.
How, one may ask, do you clear your mind? That’s a more difficult process. It’s easy to say and difficult to pull off, especially if you’re like me. Still, there is hope. Take some time out of your day to be alone. Whether you want to listen to music, read a book, or just sit in the stillness and breathe, many people agree that giving yourself time to relax helps eliminate constant nags or worries that pull at our already overloaded brains. If worry starts to overtake everything, step into a different environment and close your eyes. Take several deep breaths and ask yourself that one question. “What can I do about it right now?” Remind yourself that it’s ok, that the best thing you can do in that moment is be in the moment, and then tackle those things you’re worrying about when the time is right to do so. Just remember, doing something is better than doing nothing, so when the time is right, go ahead and face those worries head on. It’s the best way to eliminate them.