1 Good Technique To Stop Worrying And Start Doing
At various points in our lives, there are always things that make us question if we’re going to get through them. From projects, finals and removal exams to deadlines, debt, tuition and mortgage.
Invariably though, we get through them one way or another. But regardless of that fact, worrying is unavoidable.
Even though it shouldn’t be.
To be fair, worrying has an evolutionary purpose. The cave-man ancestor we had that never worried most likely did not survive that unfortunate thing he
never saw coming. Because he was too busy being content and happy to be worrying about anything.
But then again, that worry-wort neighbor or relative of ours’ just might be messing with their health by worrying excessively about almost everything.
Fortunately enough for me, I got a piece of advice early in life, that eventually helped me deal with it rather well.
“If it’s not your problem, don’t make it your problem.“
During one of the mandatory retreats in high school, I received that advice. It was directed at angst-y, teenaged boys. For some reason it stuck, and it’s been eye-opening since then.
It’s simple, concise, and it’s true. An elegant solution actually. Until you try it and realize it’s never going to actually work.
The advice itself is good. It’s just the wrong perspective; essentially it’s just phrased wrong.
Our minds crave stimuli. And if you want proof, I don’t even need to link to anything. Just try emptying your mind and think about nothing.
I bet you didn’t even last 5 minutes.
do anything about it?“
That’s how the advice should be phrased; at least when we apply it.
The quickest way to stop worrying is to stop feeling powerless or helpless and to start doing something. It may or may not work, but what’s important is to start recognizing our own capabilities and effecting a solution.
It’s tempting to change that phrase to “What can I do about it?“; but I think that’s a step back. We’re getting specific, which is usually good. But faced with a big problem, it can too easily become “What can I do about it?” And then we might have the tendency to place the responsibility on others or succumb to analysis-paralysis.
The simple effective solution is to simply ask yourself: “Can I do anything about it?” Yes or no?
The first few times you try it, you’re probably going to say “No”. That’s how big problems make us feel. But that’s almost always wrong. There’s almost always something you can do, whether you think it’s effective or not.
And that’s the rub, so to speak. If you want to stop worrying, the solution isn’t to ask yourself what you can do. It’s simply to do what you can.
Sure, the things we can do might be small or inconsequential. But just keep asking yourself that question: Can I do anything about it?
We may never have the perfect solution. But pretty soon we’ll be focused on solutions and actions, instead of problems and endless (and, to be honest, pointless) worrying.
So the next time you’re worried about your stock or bond portfolio, ask yourself: “Can I do anything about it?”
You’ll be tempted to answer “no” – after all, who the heck can control the market, right? But actually the answer is yes; it’s not about the market, it’s about you. You can diversify further. You can hedge. You can re-allocate your investments. At the very least, you can learn more about stocks, bonds, the financial market and how to invest wisely.
So when your portfolio is red, don’t stare at it or devour bad news. At the very least, pick up a book and learn more.
The same goes for debts, mortgages, and even work deadlines.
You obviously won’t solve it by reading. But the least you can do is ask someone. Get advice, do research, look for ways to earn more or spend less.
Not every problem will have a fairy tale ending. But every problem ends. So there’s no point in worrying if you aren’t going to do anything about it.
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