Worrying doesn’t make you more attractive, so why bother?
There are a lot of perfectly good reasons not to worry: it doesn’t help; it’s bad for your health; it turns you into a boring person. But let’s talk about the one reason we have to confront every day: the face in the mirror.
Here’s what we do when we worry – which do you do?
- squint our eyes
- purse our lips
- hunch our shoulders
- chew on our nails, fingers, lips, cheeks, hair
- lose sleep
- get headaches
- experience digestive problems
- self-medicate with food, alcohol, or drugs
- suspend healthy habits like exercise
- stop laughing
- communicate poorly
- look older than we are
Worry shows on your face—the frown lines, the deep groove between the eyebrows, the bags under the eyes, the bad color—and every minute we spend worrying makes us look worse. Millions of dollars are spent every year on surgery, Botox, and a host of other treatments that try to take the worry off our faces. But those treatments just deal with the symptoms, not the causes.
Worry is a bad habit. What it should be is a little red flag that pops up and says, "Here’s something I have to deal with." But instead of dealing with our concerns and moving on, too often we wear our worry.
But, you say, there are plenty of real things to worry about: world peace, global warming, health, relationships, children, parents, money, the market, listings, clients, competitors, aging, retirement, etc., etc., etc. That's all true, but worrying won't change them; action will. You can actually turn your worries into achievements and take the worry off your face by applying your attention, your focus, your positive energy, and your creativity.
Here are my top ten suggestions for getting rid of the worry habit:
10. Focus on positive possibility. Keep your eye on the good things that can happen—especially the good things that are more likely to happen than winning the lottery!
9. Embrace change. Change happens whether you want it or not. You can’t stop it, so stop worrying about it. Just say "Yes" to change. For inspiration, read a book like Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.
8. Add structure. Disorganization is the source of many worries: “I can't find it,” “I'm confused,” or “I don’t know what to do next.” Structure provides security and enhances self-confidence. Structure is your home base; it may be something as simple as using a daily To-Do List or an organizational chart for your business.
7. Get the facts. Confusion and ignorance are root causes of worry. It has been said that half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision. Replace time that would have been spent on worry with a search for wisdom.
6. Seek simplicity. We’ve all heard the expression KISS: Keep It Simple, Silly. Simplicity means single-ness of purpose. Simplicity creates trust. Trust eliminates worry.
5. Think, talk, and act cheerfully. Author John Maxwell says, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” It is very difficult to worry if you are being cheerful, saying positive words, helping others, and just being grateful for all you have.
4. Focus on purpose. Focus on your activities and your life’s purpose, not on “What’s going to happen if.…” Align your goals with your personal values and life’s purpose. Achieving meaningful results in every aspect of your life reduces worry.
3. Take action. Crowd worry out of your mind by keeping busy. Read a good book. Work out at the gym. Take a walk. Start a new project. When someone asked Winston Churchill if he was worried about his tremendous responsibilities during WWII, he replied, “I'm too busy. I have no time to worry.”
2. Be a person of integrity. If you are living a life of integrity, you eliminate a source of worry. People worry about getting caught doing something bad; they don’t mind being caught doing good.
1. Pray. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, prayer is a huge eliminator of worry. You may be great at multi-tasking, but you’ll find it impossible to pray and worry at the same time. It doesn’t mean that you abdicate your responsibility; prayer simply means that you’re not handling life completely on your own.
Give these a try. The worry lines you lose could be your own!
“There are two days about which nobody should ever worry, and these are yesterday and tomorrow.” –Robert Jones Burdette
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