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Faith WoodToo often, we’re exposed to the energy-sucking power of worry. What a waste. But you can do something about it.

As a young mom, I worried about making mistakes raising my children. I was so concerned about scarring them for life. Every article I read alluded to poor parenting as the root cause of children’s missteps when they reach adulthood. I wondered if I had the insight and wisdom needed to avoid all those future problems.

When I was an employee, I worried about not being effective or capable enough.

When I bought my first home, I worried about how I would cover the payments and what would happen if there was more month left at the end of the money.

As a solo entrepreneur, there’s still a relentless supply of things to worry about: strategies for finding gigs (that actually pay), attracting new clients, taxes, cash flow, marketing and social media … yikes!

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The only time I’ve ever found worry useful is when focusing ahead of a presentation, and only if I used that worry energy to actually prepare.

Has worrying changed or improved anything for you?

Worry creates stress and frown lines – not attractive qualities.

Sadly, like laughter, worry is also contagious and can easily spread to all those around you.

But what do you do about it?

It’s time to start taking life’s ups and downs in stride. Confront that worry and plan for what you’ll do if the thing you’re fretting about happens. Playing the what-if game to its conclusion can be measurably helpful in gaining control over your imagination.

Many worriers find that their thoughts are more troublesome right before they fall asleep. All those worst-case scenarios wiggle around in their mind when things get quiet.

If that happens to you, there’s something you can do about it, with some practice and diligent repetition. Whenever you become aware of a worrisome thought, immediately replace it with a more resourceful or positive thought.

Stressful events happen. Things might be said or done that are hurtful, but imagine yourself remaining calm and composed despite them.

It’s time to realize that the situation will be what it is regardless of how much time you spend troubling yourself about it. So invest a little time visualizing yourself as someone who doesn’t get rattled by chaos. Trust that you have the solutions (or will find them) to any real problems you face.

When you feel stress, tension or anxiety, take a deep, relaxing breath. Imagine exhaling the negative energy – imagine it sliding off like Teflon coating.

Focus on these three Cs – calm, collected and confident.

  • Remain calm because there’s no point in worrying – that won’t resolve a thing.
  • Get your thoughts collected in your mind.
  • Be confident that your mind will find a solution if there is one.

So tonight, when it’s time for sleep, drift away to a special place, and leave all those worries and cares behind. Dream that you’re tucking your worries into a drawer or a cupboard where you can pick them up in the morning or at a more appropriate time. Or send them away on a big black cloud – that cloud that’s been hovering over you. Just visualize sending your worries up there and inviting a big gust of wind to just blow them far away.

As your attitude becomes more optimistic, you’ll be able to creatively think of new and fun ways to dispose of worry.

Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications. 

For interview requests, click here.

The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are theirs alone and do not inherently or expressly reflect the views of our publication.

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