As women, I’m convinced that part of the genes that make us different from men is made up of a strand of the “worry gene.” At the slightest chance of a possible wrinkle in our plans, we begin to worry and fret over what might happen.
We’re pros at worrying. If worrying were an Olympic sport, women wouldn’t even have to practice for the event! We’re naturally prone towards thinking about uncertainty. And it makes sense. As women, we are nurturers. We deal with things are often aren’t seen, but felt. As mothers, we begin to worry long before we ever give birth. And that natural instinct just sharpens with age and experience. Our instincts tell us when something is wrong- long before visible symptoms ever surface.
But that gift can backfire and cause us many hours of painful uncertainty. How many times have you worried over something that didn’t come true? More often than not, eh? One way that women add tremendous stress to their lives is by acting as though the uncertain things that may happen in life are going to happen. We tense up and brace ourselves emotionally for things that don’t occur.
And just like tensing during a car crash often leaves more damages than being relaxed, walking through our lives tensed waiting for uncertain things to happen can also leave damage.
To help stop making the uncertain things certain in your life, try these tips:
For starters, share your worries and concerns with someone. Sometimes hearing these worries expressed out loud can allow you see (and hear) them from a different perspective. Sharing also allows someone else to carry some of the worry. “Bearing each other’s burdens” has been long taught in Sunday School classes and fables over the centuries. There’s a reason why people have kept that thought alive for so long- it works!
Next, ask yourself what the likelihood is of that worry actually happening. Is the worry is real, or has your stress gotten the best of you.
Then, if it’s a real possibility, set up the resources and supports you may need in advance. Having a plan of action takes the worry and stress off. It allows you to react with more grace. Not getting as upset definitely helps eliminate the guilt that follows when we work ourselves up during an overwhelming situation.
For example, if you’re worried about your older vehicle having some type of break down, it’s not ungrounded. All types of automobiles act up from time to time. But have you been hearing any noises or noticing that your car is acting differently when you drive it? If no, know that no matter how old or new a vehicle is- they are all likely to have an issue at one point or another. If the answer is yes, there have been some signs of a possible issue, take precaution. Make sure that you have the numbers to your insurance company (if your policy covers towing, etc) and a mechanic that you trust programmed in your cell phone. Know what friends you can call for extra assistance. If something happens, you can instantly make a call. Knowing that you are prepared in the event of a crisis can help take the edge off of the worry.
Now things like vehicles and repairs do make us worry. However, the things that we can’t see worry us even more! In these situations, it’s sometimes a little bit harder to implement these three tips. For example, if you’re at the beginning of a relationship and you don’t hear from that person, it’s easy for thoughts to creep in that they aren’t interested anymore. Instead of asking yourself why they haven’t called you yet, ask yourself why wouldn’t they call you once they are able to do so? Don’t assume that the unknown is for sure!
Start with the smaller worries on your list. Try implementing the three tips with those first. Then, as you get better at keeping the uncertain worries at a distance, then try it with the bigger worries.
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