Making Worry Work for You

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Have you ever noticed that there are two kinds of worry? There is the kind that is totally out of our control. We worry about a friend or family member making it safely to their destination when traveling. We worry that the weather will be bad during our camping vacation. We stress over the fact that the economy is recovering so slowly. However, we have no influence, no power over any of these situations so our worry is a total waste of energy.

The second kind of worry can actually be beneficial if we use it appropriately. For example, we worry about being prepared for an upcoming test. We stress about not having enough time to get our project done before the deadline. We worry that a friend is mad at us because we forgot about their party. In all of these situations, we can channel that worry into action. Our worry can give us the energy to prepare for the test. It can provide us with the motivation to plan and work more efficiently on our project. It can give us the courage to ask our friend if they are upset with us.

So the next time you are worried about something, ask yourself, “Can I use this worry to take action that will improve the situation?” If not, remind yourself that it is only distracting you from enjoying your life and instead, focus on those things you can control.

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