“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
One of the biggest effects of worry and anxiety is the energy drain it puts on your body and mind.
If you spend a morning feeling anxious and panicking, the rest of your day can be a write-off. You feel physically and mentally drained and have little desire to make much of the rest of the day.
Those who suffer daily with worry, anxiety and the stress it brings can find life turning into one long drag. This lack of energy can mean that making the right decisions, and then following them through, becomes very difficult.
It is therefore important to know where to focus your time and energy and where not to.
If you could stop 50% of your daily worries in an instant, wouldn’t you feel a whole let better and then have much more energy to focus your efforts on the right areas of your life?
Today we are going to be talking about why it is so important to learn to accept the inevitable in life in order to help reduce worry, stress and therefore anxiety.
There are 2 main reasons why you should learn to accept this:
- By fighting against the inevitable, you are using up a lot of the energy you require for the more important areas of your life
- By not allowing yourself to let some things go, you will end up constantly tense and stressed out. This is what forms part of the problem associated with general anxiety
To put it simply, it is impossible for the mind to cope when you are fighting against every little thing which you deem as a concern or threat.
What happens when you try?
Eventually you start to retreat from the world and become lost amongst your thoughts and fears. You avoid more and more in order to try and reduce your worries and to try and feel better.
As I have mentioned before, anxiety is very good at stopping you doing the things you require to recover from it. The more anxious you become the more you retreat and the more you stop living the life you want.
What does this do?
It makes you even more anxious and so the cycle continues.
A near death experience
We’ve all heard the stories of those who have faced a near death experience and because of this they have been able to turn their lives around.
Why is this?
It’s because that experience taught them how to accept the inevitable. By seeing how fragile life is, and that it can be taken from you in an instant without you being able to do a thing to stop it, you learn how little control you actually have.
For those with anxiety a lot of it is about control. You want to be able to control every little aspect of your life and change the parts you don’t like. When you can’t, all that is left is to worry about them.
A near death experience shows a person that they cannot do this, no matter how hard they try. It changes their perspective and the way they think. However, it can be done without such a drastic event having to occur first.
Life is too short to worry about the things you cannot change. When you realise this and take the steps to put it into practice, a lot of your daily stress goes. Not only that but it’s a very exhilarating feeling and experience.
Most importantly it frees up a lot of your thoughts and energy which can then be focused on the things you need to do: things which are not inevitable and which you can influence.
There is nothing to be gained by worry
If your mother said she only had weeks to live would you be able to help her live longer by worrying?
No, you must take action to see if there is a way she can be helped or, if not, to enjoy that time with her as much as possible.
If your house burnt down in a fire would you be able to get it back by worrying?
No, you must take action to get it rebuilt and find another place to stay in the meantime.
If you lost all your money, would you be able to get it back by worrying?
No, you must take action to get it back again.
If you miss the last train will you get home any sooner by worrying?
No, you must take action to find alternative means of transport or to find a hotel for the night.
If you make a mistake at work will you put it right by worrying?
No, you must take action to do what is required to put it right.
All worrying does is make you feel worse and heighten your anxiety. It then prevents you from doing what you can do to improve the situation – to take action.
Once something has happened it cannot be changed. If you try to fight against it the only thing that will change is you.
It can make you bitter and resentful, dragging your thoughts down until you become unrealistic and negative in your way of thinking.
Instead, all you can do is work on the things which you can affect and which can be changed.
It’s the taking action which helps you feel better, not the moaning and worrying about the problem.
Your self-esteem is built upon your achievements and the satisfaction they give you. It’s impossible to feel better if you retreat into your shell and curse the world for being so unfair.
Inevitable does not just mean something that in no way you could have changed or prevented. If something has happened it has become the inevitable.
Could you have left 15 minutes earlier to make your train on time?
Yes, but who says you wouldn’t have got stuck in traffic anyway.
Beating yourself up over every little mistake or something you cannot ever change is utterly pointless. Instead you must learn from the problem you faced, move on and make more of what you now have.
Instead of worrying about everything:
- learn to be calm and accept what cannot be changed
- be strong and have the courage to work on the things you can change
- have the ability to understand the difference between the two
For all problems in life there is either something you can do or nothing you can do.
I quite like it when I realise there is nothing I can do, it means I can let it go and instead direct my energy towards the things I want to focus on.
Do not spend your time and energy by constantly worrying about something which has already happened, it will only make you more anxious.
You are where you are and the path you have taken so far means that has now become inevitable.
Instead regain your strength by letting go of those things in life you cannot affect and use the extra energy on the things you can change.
Make your inevitable future a better one by focusing on the things you should, one day at a time.
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