Worrying was an important evolutionary tool. Wondering if there is a saber toothed tiger behind the bush helped our ancestors survive. But at what point does worrying hurt us? How can we turn worrying into “productive thinking”?
I have worried about many things. The slightest health scare can make me think I have a disease. One unhappy client leads to thinking that they all may leave. A little turbulence on the plane could be a deadly plane destroying hurricane! But is there really anything to gain from these worries? Not usually, and that’s why we need productive thinking.
Turning your worries into productive thinking can free your mind up to do what you need it for.
Here are a few tips to turn worrying into productive thinking:
#1.Let you thoughts take you forward and not back
Being in deep thought about a difficult subject is not a bad thing. We have to take time to think. However, you must pay close attention to where your thoughts are taking you. Are you focusing on progress? Are you looking for solutions? After thinking for some time, are you closer to overcoming the problem? Just beginning to find a solution can help you feel better.
#2.Decide if you can control it
Not everything is worth your deep thought or worthy of productive thinking. You have to be honest about whether something is truly under your control now. This doesn’t mean stressing about something that was in your control in the past. Maybe you failed in the past and that’s why you are here. But there are many things under your control this moment. If you don’t take ownership of them immediately, they can become things in the past that you are worried about.
#3. If possible, give yourself deadlines for action
OK, so you need to take action. Be cautious of paralysis by analysis. You will use all the time that you give yourself. Simply putting a deadline on finding a solution will help you tremendously. Put at plan of action together with a specific time. When you reach the end of that time, you need to be in a new place. Maybe that means you have solved the problem or not, but you can’t be in the same place that you started.
#4. If necessary, let it go.
What happens if you have no control? What happens if you set a deadline again and again, but you still aren’t solving your issue. Sometimes it’s just time to let it go (words my toddler daughter know too well). You cannot fix everything, nor do you have to. Many times the best thing to do is to accept that this problem isn’t going away. Perhaps it is necessary to stop thinking about it and move on. Be clear on what you can let go of. Perhaps accepting that you just can’t and don’t want to solve it at this moment will allow you to take the issue out of your mind.
Stress can cause so many problems but it doesn’t have to. Be intentional now and take control of your life. When have you overcome your worries? How did you do it? Thanks for reading. If you like this, I’d be grateful if you shared it. If not, don’t worry, you’re still awesome in my eyes.