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Worrying is like revving your engine — and going nowhere. And as much fun as it is to rev your engine, what you really enjoy is getting somewhere.

worrying

What am I worrying about?

So the first question to ask yourself is “What am I worried about?” Because most of the time, you don’t even really know. Instead, your anxiety (another word for worry) is generalized. You know — that feeling of malaise that has you pinned down. But here’s the amazing thing. When you stop for a moment (yes, stop) and really ask yourself, “What am I so worried about?” you’ll find that the closer you get to defining the worry, the less out of control you’ll feel. And then, you’ll be ready for the second question.

What can I do?

And the second question is, “Is there anything I can do about this?” Because there are some things that you can do something about, and others that you can’t. Right? I mean, even if you want for the summer to never end, it’s going to end (at least where you are — aha! a clue to what’s about to come). So to worry about the summer ending isn’t very fruitful. And you know this — and yet you continue to worry about all kinds of things over which you have no control.

What’s the plan?

So let’s take that example about the summer never ending. And yes — I do know that you worry about bigger things. But bear with me. Because this simple example plays out for your bigger worries as well. So when you worry that the summer is going to end, take all that worry energy and do something productive with it.

Define it.

Because when you do, you take that worry and define it (from the first question). Which, in this case, means that you understand that your generalized anxiety is actually about the summer ending. And then, you’ve asked yourself (with the second question), “Is there anything I can do about this?” And from there you’ll know that either you can or you can’t do something about it. If you can’t, accept it and move on to things you can change. And if you can change it (maybe you could travel to somewhere where it is summer?) then make a plan to do something about it.

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