Do you ever worry when you know that worrying doesn’t help anything? How many times have you just worry and it really helped you to solve a problem? It’s never really done that for me. And yet, we know that worrying takes about seven years off of your life. If you worry, studies show that you might as well smoke because you’re gonna lose about seven years off of your life.
So why worry? In treating patients with chronic pain for over 20 years, often some of them will come to me and say, well, what if this, what if that? And I say to them, we may never have the answers to all of your what-ifs. But these what-ifs are causing you to become overwhelmed and stressed.
And this not only happens when we are treating people with physical pain, but it can also happen in our relationships at school and at work. What if, what if? And so what I’ve taught people is a simple strategy instead of worrying and keep saying what if? Because most worrying starts with what if this happens? What if that happens? I ask them to refocus their mind from thinking about worrying to what are the possibilities. So tell yourself, what if I could resolve this?
What if the problem gets better? So the next time you worry, you may not have all the answers, but stop and take a moment and ask yourself, what if I can resolve this? What if the problem goes away? And just by introducing that, you’re gonna change your mind from worrying to going into possibilities. And it’s gonna stop that cycle of worry, worry, worry. So try that simple technique and see if it helps you, because we don’t need to lose seven years off of our lives by worrying.