What’s the appropriate amount of worry for any situation? I know people who have the luxury of not feeling an ounce of worry or anxiety at any given moment. Then there are others, like myself, who feel the weight of anxiety on their chest for countless hours a day.
But what’s acceptable to worry over, and what is not?
I find that worrying over the simple things, like whether or not you will see someone you know when you’re out, or if you remembered to turn off the straightener when you left this morning are trivial and downright silly. There are plenty of situations that occur in a day that do not involve the need for worry, but you hyper-focus on the moments that bring out the inner stress and anxiety. These are the moments that often are momentary, but feel as if they last for hours.
Out of the 24 hours, 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds that make up one day, how much of that time is spent worrying about things that we cannot change? We stress over the situations we have absolutely no control over; the plans the universe has already set in place for what is going to happen at any given moment.
There’s a comforting prayer that people have come up with based on words from the bible, called “The Serenity Prayer”
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference”
If you dissect this prayer, it begins by asking God to bring you peace. Whether it may be for your mind or your body, the feeling of being at peace with yourself and with a situation is enough to change ones mood completely. When times become tough and you become overwhelmed with work, loved ones or just the stress from every day life, knowing that you can always call on God to bring you serenity and free you from the burden is heartwarming. Who else in your life can do that for you? You may be able to speak openly to friends or family about your burdens, but that only clears your mind momentarily. There is nobody else that has the ability to take away your pain or stress that is wearing on you permanently. If you need help or guidance in any situation, that is when you call on God to grant you the wisdom and ability to get through it.
Next, you need courage to change what can be changed. It’s hard to believe this sometimes, but you have the ability to change the way you react to others, or the way you conduct yourself. This power is inside of you, so use it. If you don’t like the way you act, then change it. If you don’t like the way that someone is treating you, then tell them. The only time a change can happen is if you act on it. Don’t wait for the world to change, be the change you want to see. Have the courage to act on your own instead of waiting for life to happen in order to react.
Lastly, having the wisdom to differentiate between situations you can change and those you cannot is not a characteristic that everyone possesses. This is something that can be changed. It’s something that can be worked on in conjunction with gaining knowledge from experience. Every trial and tribulation that one goes through gives them the wisdom that is needed to continue on with life. For example, if you burn your hand on a hot stove, you probably wouldn’t touch another hot stove, right? That’s because you learned from doing. You took the knowledge you gained from that specific experience, and changed the possible future outcome. So if you are able to do something as simple as realizing not to touch a hot stove, why can’t you change the outcome of any other future situation?
While there are many events in our lives that we do not have the ability to change, such as a plane crash or someone stealing your social security number, there are many possible events in your future that can be changed.
You can change the way you greet your coworkers in the morning.
You can decide to say “no” to the person who is no good for you.
You can make better decisions that will benefit your future, you just need to apply what you know to any given moment in your life.
Have faith and believe in yourself.