I’ve started meditating again, in order to be more present. I have a tendency to think about things in the past as well as worrying about what will happen in the future. I know that a lot of what I worry about will not happen and never materialise. In some ways, I think my overthinking can be productive in that it spurs me on to take action to alleviate a situation. Most of time, however, it just makes me anxious and unable relax.
But what happens when you worry about the things that you know are going to happen? In my case, I am moving to Japan for a year in August. This is what I’ve been hoping for and attempting for many years. So why does it worry me so?!
I know I like working with children in a classroom and enjoyed the teaching when I did the CELTA, but it’s a big gap from doing this for some hours spread over a few months to doing it full-time. Japan will be so different to the UK, which makes it amazing as well as scary at the same time.
I googled how to stop worrying about the future and found some great quotes.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
– Leo Buscaglia
“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
– Swedish Proverb
By worrying, I will not be able to stop things from happening, but it also stops me from enjoying now. I live in London, one of the most interesting cities in the world. It has many museums, galleries, exhibitions, events and other things to do.
So far I’ve come up with or read about the following techniques that may help me stop from worrying so much:
~ Writing in a journal – somehow the process of writing my worries down helps me analyse them, helps me work out why I am stressing and be able to forget the needless worrying of inconsequential things
~ Meditation – there are many health benefits attributed to this (physical and mental). Different types of meditation can help with different aspects, such as loving kindness with being more compassionate to myself and others, or mindfulness to be more present
~ Talking to loved ones – worries always seem worse when you have to fight them on your own and sharing can help you feel less overwhelmed and get fresh insight on certain problems
~ Body relaxation – I know that when I’m stressed, I get tense and it probably acts like a feedback loop where the tension makes me more stressed. Having cues to remind a person to relax should help. I even bought myself a necklace (a black tourmaline pendant to be exact) to act as a reminder, so that each time I’m wearing it I simply need to touch it to remind myself to relax.
~ Getting enough sleep – I know that when I’m tired, I can’t deal with things so well
~ Exercise – during the Pleistocene era, life was very dangerous. Stress gave humans the ability to be able to fight if they needed to or flee like hell. Even though we have advanced in many ways, our bodies are more or less the same. Instead of stressing about the rare, but lethal, saber tooth tiger attacks, our stresses tend to focus more on work deadlines, what he really means when he says X, embarrassing things we’ve done and worrying about how we may be judged, etc. Not only has what we stress about changed, but also the frequency. It’s good to use up this energy that prepares us to fight or flight by actually getting physical, hence why I enjoy kickboxing!
Worrying can be construed as the fear of uncertainty, but what in life is truly certain?
I want to learn how to let go and relax amongst the chaos, to not be a tense person who frets all the time. Life is too short to not enjoy it.