On Sunny Lane: Don't Worry - Be Happy


I know a fellow who doesn't worry.

At least, he says he doesn't worry. I can't imagine somebody who doesn't worry about something--sometimes. Anyway, he says, "I'm not very good at worrying."

I know some people who are very good at it. They worry about everything. They worry themselves sick.

I don't know if you could say I worry. I think about things. I wonder about things. I get upset about things. Some things bother me. Usually, the things that bother me the most are those over which I have no control.

What usually helps me is to come up with a plan when worry threatens to overtake me.

For instance, if I'm worried if I have enough time to fit in all of the errands I need to do, I make a list, prioritize them and then tackle them--one by one. If I cross them off as I go, it gives me a sense of satisfaction.

You could come up with several possible solutions to the object of your worry, choose one and get to work on it.

Some people like to use the word concern, instead of worry. Maybe, it makes a person feel less hyper.

If the object of your concern is beyond your control, it might help to divert your attention to other matters. These are some things that I have tried:

• Vent your feelings with someone who is like-minded.

• Pray for the issue that's bothering you.

• Chop wood

• Plant a garden and tend it.

• Pray for the chaos in our nation.

• Call or visit a sick friend--or send a card or email.

• Write in a journal.

• Pray for the war in Ukraine.

• Work at a food bank.

• Pray for your family.

• Exercise.

• Pray.

As the words in the song go, "I never promised you a rose garden."

There will always be challenges to our equanimity. The path will not always be smooth.

There's another old song, called, "Don't Worry--Be Happy."

It's not easy to not worry, but it's easier to focus on doing something active. It may not make you happy, but it may give you a little satisfaction. It may take your mind off of the object of your concern.

It works for me. It might work for you.


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