What creates worry and emotional distress? We often blame our suffering on things that have not yet even happened. It’s the feeling of not being in control that controls your well-being. With today’s uncertain world, political turmoil, financial struggles and social media monopolizing our time, it’s no wonder that we are completely stressed out! So it’s time to focus on how to stop worrying about future events.
Whether your suffering with worry and anxiety is an acute awareness of external forces or it is on a subconscious level, this distress transmits itself in to other parts of your life. Maybe you are able to separate the outside world and all of the turmoil happening in it for the better part of your days and nights, but many of us are still plagued emotionally with worry and anxiety about the future for other reasons.
Whether future means 10 years from now or tomorrow morning, the impact of the unknown for some can be overwhelming. So let’s reflect on the emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual effects of such worry, anxiety and distress. It all really comes down to dealing with today and controlling your thoughts about what that means. Why is what’s happening, not happening or the unknown causing you to be unhappy and suffer so much? Why are these feelings preventing you from living?
Whatever your situation, it is important to know that the circumstance itself is not necessarily the root of suffering. It is not the cause, that is until you insert yourself in to that action. Echart Tolle, author of A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (among many other life changing books) shows us that worry and anxiety are results from your fear and attachment to the circumstance. Your disappointment, a failure (in your mind) or the event that has distressed you or left you questioning your future is often the catalyst to the emotional, and eventual physical, pain of suffering.
Take for example, losing a job. If the loss of employment was to afflict your neighbor, other people, strangers or even family members, those circumstances would nevertheless be at face value – an extraneous situation. You certainly may empathize but you are not truly suffering with anxiety from it. Yet when an undesirable challenge confronts you – unfortunately the trauma of it can give you permission, in your mind, to suffer and worry about what the future holds.
Learning How to Stop Worrying About Future Events
Eckhart eloquently explains this:
“Although the body is very intelligent, it cannot tell the difference between an actual situation and a thought. It reacts to every thought as if it were a reality…To the body, a worrisome, fearful thought means, “I am in danger,” and it responds accordingly, even though you may be lying in a warm and comfortable bed at night. The heart beats faster, muscles contract, breathing becomes rapid. There is a buildup of energy, but since the danger is only a mental function, the energy has no outlet. Part of it is fed back to the minding and generates even more anxious thought. The rest of the energy turns toxic and interferes with the harmonious functioning of the body.” – A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (page 134)
Acknowledge this Present Suffering (but don’t give in to it!)
Here are some important and helpful things to remember and zone in on when faced with a challenging situation that causes you to excessively worry and not feel in control of life:
Recognize. What part of worry is your own doing – not the event but your interpretation, your perception, possibly your resistance? Know that this feeling is born from your thoughts and not the situation. Recognize that this is a thought, or negative self-talk, and no more. Allow it to be what it is – thought.
Mindset. Know for a fact that the worry and distress, the fears that result from this mindset, is an interpretation. This consumes an incredible amount of your emotional, spiritual and physical energy. IT WILL leave you utterly exhausted. Be present to the mindset you are choosing to have and take conscious ownership in that moment.
Decide. Make the choice that you have experienced enough suffering. For some it is hitting rock bottom. Others may nip it in the bud a lot earlier. Either way, when you know you have had enough it will be relatively easy to begin letting go of what you cannot control. Let go of what has not happened. The release will feel clensing. Here’s why: you will now know and listen to what is real and be open to change. This is your opportunity! If suffering has any purpose in life, it is only to awaken with the realization that you don’t need to suffer with anxiety or worry moving forward. Less distress and more mindful control over this place in time is key.
Own it. Commit to staying in the present moment and Own this mindset – it is yours. Own your choices and your actions. Know that it is not easy. Also know that winning over your worries about the future does not happen over night. Finally, know that you are worth the fight for a freed soul and peace of mind. Own your best at owning your thoughts. And hold yourself responsible for when you fall short of doing your best to achieve this. Taking ownership of this commitment means that when this does happen, and it will, you will dust yourself off and try again. And when you do dust yourself off and try again, know that you are indeed learning how to stop worrying about future events and things you can’t control. You are winning worry and anxiety.
This my friends is a paradox of opportunity. The mystery in that your emotions and emotional responses are within your control. And the beauty here is that you are experiencing the awakening of your consciousness and your evolvement in to your happier, peace-filled self. An empowered person who is in much more control and free from the confines of mental burden.
Try (your best) to look at this from that angle and detach your association from concern, fear and disappointment. Once you begin to use these tools of how to stop worrying so much about the future, your present living will be so much more positive and fulfilling.
It Takes More than Mindset to Overcome Worry and Distress
Mindset alone is not going to change your life overnight. Your mindset needs a supporting cast. And your healthy mindset requires additional foundation to stand on. So here are some proactive, effective and realistic GREAT ways to battle and end your suffering with worry and anxiety about tomorrow!
- Get Moving – Worry and anxiety are heavy burdens so lighten the load with some form of proactive and purposeful movement.
- Exercise is a super effective way to alleviate anxiety. From walking to running, hiking to biking – exercise releases endorphins which produces feelings of euphoria and boosts energy, self confidence and memory all while relieving stress. Another great side effect – you will experience an improved quality of sleep – so this is a win for overall well-being!
- Meditation is the quieting of your mind to create awareness of the present moment and instill peace. Through purposeful breathing and fully engaged focus, mediation gives permission to the worrisome thoughts filling your mind to depart and replace them with a peaceful mindset. Mediation is a convenient practice – it can be done whenever and wherever you chose. However it takes practice. The more you practice, the more effective mediation will be! Nowadays there’s even an app for that and you don’t need to sit on a mountaintop to do it.
- Yoga not only benefits the body with increased flexibility, core and muscle strength, it improves blood pressure and metabolism. For the goal of reducing anxiety, yoga promotes relaxation, by focusing a grateful mind on your movements, breathing and being in the present moment. Because the practicing of yoga calls your attention to the present moment, it helps to clear your mind of the clutter and chaos that worry and anxiety perpetuate.
- Talk it Over – Keeping stress inside is not the answer and whether or not you are able to find relief on your own, it is always wise and healthy to share your frustrations with someone trustworthy.
- Talking through anxiety with a friends or family member can often help you hear your own thoughts with a new perspective. Also listening to the perspectives of others you trust can lighten your burdens enough to simply take the edge off and help you sleep better at night.
- A Therapist/Life Coach may be the answer you need. But don’t wait until your anxiety brings you so far down that it feels impossible to dig out. I call this collaborating for your wellness. And partnering with a therapist or life coach can empower you to own the well-being you never dreamed possible. With the demands of our busy schedules, and the outrageous costs of professional counseling today, you don’t even need to travel to an office or have top notch insurance to benefit from professional support. There are therapists and life coaches available online, over the phone, or yes believe it or not, via mobile app that are real and effective options. Do what is right for you!
- Educate Your Mind and Body
- Read and implement effective strategies to raise your well-being to a level that you can feel at peace with and in control. There are so many resources to help, including the authors mentioned here at Own Your Best!
- A Well-Balanced Diet directly impacts our state of mind. What you put in your body comes out in the form of weight, disposition and well-being. Nutrition doesn’t have to be hard work but it does need to be taken seriously. Actions as simple as eating a well-balanced breakfast can alter the course of your day for the better. Limiting alcohol, caffeine and unhealthy snacks can help make a meaningful difference in your overall well-being, thus how you cope with stress. Now this is how you take care of your future!
- Natural, non-habit forming anti-anxiety products, like Bach’s Rescue Remedy (see review link below), that are safe and effective. I’ve used Rescue Remedy for flying and travel, public speaking, and coping with stressful situations. Stay tuned for my blog post that goes in to more detail about my experience with Rescue Remedy and how it has gotten me through some difficult times. (Updated – see review here!)
End Worrying About Future Events, Focus on Growth
With everything life has to offer, it can often times offer us what we don’t want too. The uncontrollable need to worry about the future can build up to a level where we feel out of control. However know that it is definitely okay and even encouraged to think of the challenges you face as a catalyst for growth. Acknowledging your suffering is also your call-to-action alarm – it is telling you to make a choice. This is how to stop overthinking.
Either it is time hit snooze, remain stagnant and theoretically shrivel OR it is time to grow. I’m putting my money on your growth! So awaken with the knowledge that you can control worrying about future events and even the present. Know that when you use the coping and mindset tools above, you have limitless abilities to live an abundant, rewarding life and make the most of the opportunities before you today.