Let Your Mind Rest

I worry about everything. It does not matter how perfect the situation or conversation went, my brain will find a way to pick it apart and turn it into something horrible. I worry about yesterday, today, 3 years ago and 10 years into the future. I worry about things I cannot control. I have had this problem since I was at least 13. That’s when it got worse. I blame the shittiness of middle school. But years later I’m in college, I feel confident in trying to find myself, but I cannot shake the worries some days. Sometimes they just will not stop. However, because of the worries I have learned the importance in trying to combat them and allowing my busy mind to rest. You waste parts of life worrying about things you cannot control. My first semesters of college were full of worrying and, therefore, full of wasted energy.

You waste brain space. All that time spent worrying about a terrible outcome for that project that you just got assigned to could be spent making that project better. That brain power could be spent on ideas and new solutions. It could be spent on a new piece of art or writing or poem. Worrying contributes nothing to the world. Creation of new ideas, solutions and artistic expressions can make it better.

You harm your health. It’s a known fact that excessive worrying can lead to a compromised immune system and future health problems, such as heart disease. Most of what we worry about is either irrational or not worth worrying about. Quite frankly, no matter how much you worry about how that first date with a new guy you’re seeing is going to go, the outcome will not change. You will either have great chemistry or it will go terribly. You will live through both outcomes. But is he really worth all the stress and increased risk of heart disease down the line? I think not.

You ruin moments. I am very guilty of worrying so much that I am unable to enjoy a currently wonderful moment. The summer before I started college I stressed so much about going away and missing my home that I failed at trying to just enjoy my time with the people and places I love. I learned the hard way that worrying takes you away from being present. It takes away your happiness. Nobody knows what the future holds. The best way to get the most out of the short time we have living is to embrace when things are good and trudge through when things get bad. The worst thing is having regrets and feeling like you did not get the most out of the good.

A friend of mine listened to my incessant worries one day. She laughed and said,

“You need to be in the now, man. Believe in the power of now.”

She’s right. The time we waste in our heads worrying and causing ourselves painful stress could be spent in the current world being productive, creative, wonderful citizens of the world. If we all spent a little more time in the now and handled things as they came to us, we would be better off. As a serial worrier and over thinker, I am still learning to always follow my own advice and live in my own “now”. Someday I hope to feel that power and not waste a single second over things I cannot control. My mind needs to rest.