Given that worry has been a frequent companion throughout my life, I want to share a strategy I use to stop worrying and change gears.
It’s a quick mantra from The Worry Trap by Chad LeJeune that reminds me just how unhelpful worrying is and allows me to shift my attention back to the present moment. The mantra is “worrying isn’t watering.”
Here’s the concept — if I go on a trip and spend my entire vacation worrying about the fact that my plants aren’t going to get watered, it doesn’t change the outcome. I’ll come home from my trip and my plants will either be dead or alive, but my worrying will have had zero impact on what happened because worrying does not put water in the plants. All that will have changed is that I will have ruined my vacation.
So when I’m caught in a loop of constant worry, I try to remind myself that worrying actually doesn’t change the outcome and say to myself: “Worrying is not watering.” This mantra helps me remember what is within my control and what is not.
It doesn’t mean that the things we worry about aren’t valid or difficult. Rather, it’s a way of acknowledging the fact that worrying is an ineffective tool to manage whatever is present for you as it changes nothing except for ruining your hour, day, week, or vacation and leaving you feeling depleted.
The next time you can’t stop worrying, I hope you’ll give this a try and see if it helps you put things in perspective.