"The greatest mistake physicians make is that they attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind, yet the mind and body are one and should not be treated separately!" - Plato

Worrying eats you up, not just mentally, but also physically; it’s the lead cause for heart disease, stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. The good news is that you can live a worrying-free life through those simple ways: 

1. Live one day at a time

This means to shut out the yesterday and the future as tightly as the past. This doesn’t mean not to work for your future, if anything the best way to work for your future is focus on your present moment, to do your work superbly today. Easy said than done, but each time you find yourself starting to worry about the past, remind yourself that it’s dead and that you can’t do anything to change it and each time you find yourself starting to worry about the future, procrastinate, tell yourself that you’ll have enough time to worry later. Often people think that if they worried about something negative that might happen, they’re preparing for it or preventing it from happening. Needless to say, that worrying can never do any of these things, so stop worrying, whatever will happen will happen.

"Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means." - Robert Louis Stevenson.

2. Don’t put off living

Often people set conditions for themselves to start living and be happy. It might go like this; when I grow up I’ll live, then he grows up and he’ll say when I get a job, and then he gets it and he’ll say when I get married, and he gets married and then he’ll say when I retire and then he’ll realize that it’s too late and that he missed his life.

Don’t wait for something and put living off. Live now with what you have and wherever you are.

3. Apply these three steps:

When faced with a problem do the following:

1. Analyze the situation that you’re worried about by asking yourself what is the worst that can possibly happen.

2. Reconcile yourself to accept it. For example, if your failure will cost your job, you can always get a new one. This will reduce your stress significantly and will help you concentrate on what you need to do about it.

3. Devote your time and energy to reduce the damage that might happen and which you had accepted mentally.

"True peace of mind, comes from accepting the worst. Psychologically, I think, it means a release of energy." - Lin Yutang - The Importance of Living

4. Consider others problems

We tend to think that we have the most difficult of problems and that we’re suffering while others have it easy. This is obviously not true. There’s always someone who has a bigger problem than yours. Now once you consider yourself blessed compared to what others have to go through (losing their family, living in a war, facing poverty and famine, having to live with a disease, being handicapped…), right then your worries will seem to you insignificant.

5. Make a plan

Whenever you feel worried, ask yourself 3 questions and write them down:

Question 1: What is the real problem? : Instead of fighting your emotions, think about what is the real problem that got this worked up.

Question 2: What is the cause of the problem? : Analyze the causes of the problem, what made things go this way?

Question 3: What are all possible solutions to the problem? : Write down any possible solution that can be applied to your problem.

Question 4: What solution do you suggest? : Figure out what is the best solution that will work out for you among all of the suggested ones. To make that decision, you can weight down the pros and cons to each solution. You can also combine more than one.

6. Have no time to worry

When there’s nothing for you to do about the matter that is worrying you (death of a family member…), keep yourself busy mentally and physically. It is difficult to worry while you are busy doing something that needs planning and thinking like repairing something in the house, helping someone, reading, exercising… these kind of activities are not only productive but also a good distraction that will keep you from worrying until time heals your wounds or things gets better.

"The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not." - George Bernard Shaw

7. Don’t let the small worries pull you down

Often times we face the major disasters of life bravely and then let small worries get to us. These all the small things in the everyday life that annoy us (an annoying sound coming from the radiators, mismatching napkins…). Those worries sound absurd compared to the real problems that we face in our lives, yet they can do more damage than those problems. Forget those worries and don’t exaggerate them y constantly thinking about them.

8. Use the law of averages
What are the chances, according to the law of averages, that this event you’re worried about will ever happen? If you’re worried that lightning would kill you, ask yourself how likely it is to happen. The chances that you might die of cancer are way more probable than the chances of lightning hitting you. If you’re afraid that you might die if you drive, then consider that by the law of averages if you’re driving safely and wearing your seat belt, then the chance of you getting hurt are remote. That doesn’t mean that we should be reckless, but once you did everything you can do to make sure that you’re safe, there’s no need there to worry. The fact is almost all the worries and unhappiness come from people’s mind and not from their reality.

9. Be willing to have it so

If the damage has happened, then the first and most important step for you to take is to accept it so you can move on and overcome the consequences of this misfortune. You don’t deserve to live bitter. You can’t change what happened but you can carry on and adjust to the new situation. Keep in mind that nothing life could bring you is beyond your strength to endure, no matter how hard it sounds to you.

"When I can't handle events, I let them handle themselves." - Henry Ford

10. Learn how to say “Stop”

This means to set out your limits because your peace of mind can only take too much. If you’re used to meeting up with a friend and he leaves waiting for long, put on a stop limit, tell him that you’ll only wait for 10 minutes and then you’ll leave. If you’ve been cross with someone close for too long, put a stop limit and make peace with that person. Holding grudges and bitter memories will do you no good and will cost your peace of mind. Life is too short to be bitter for too long. If you’re doing something in the wrong way, put a stop limit and turn around and start all over again. You might have lost some of your time, but at least you won’t be losing any more time.

“A man doesn't have the time to spend half his life in quarrels. If any man ceases to attack me, I never remember the past against him." - Abraham Lincoln

Bonus: 'Don't cry over spilled milk!'

With a little thought and prevention, the milk might have been saved. Yet, no amount of tears or regrets can bring a drop of it. All you can do now is forget it and go on to the next thing. This applies to everything in your life. If it’s a past, there’s no use to waste tears or feel guilty about it. What you have to do is learn the lesson and move on to something else.

Listening to someone who’s going through a hard time can a great way to help him and make him feel better. For oftentimes, people don’t really need solutions, they just need to feel understood and supported. Below are ways to help you become a good listener.

1. Reflect: reflecting is repeating back, in your own words, what the person has shared. This shows that you’re paying attention to what they’re saying.

2. Label their emotions: by identifying the person’s emotion you show them that you’re interested in how they're feeling and that you understand him. You can label their emotions by putting yourself in their place and imagining what would that make you feel (angry, frustrated, worried…).

3. Ask open questions: Those questions aren’t answered by a “yes” or “no” and these questions will help them open up and be able to talk more about it because some people find it hard to put their thoughts into words. It can go like this:

• What is the most important thing you want her to understand?

• What is the worst-case scenario?

• What do you don’t like about this situation?

4. Show empathy: We can’t always solve everyone’s problems, especially when they don’t want to be helped but simply to be understood. Showing empathy helps them feel less alone in this. To show that empathy, try to put yourself in their place and imagine what would you feel then tell them that you would feel that way, too, in their position.

5. Be supportive and non-judgmental: As a listener, you’re in no position to judge or criticize the person’s choices. Even when you don’t agree with them, try to see it as another point of view. 

6. Appreciate the person’s strengths: pointing out the person’s strengths helps them build their self-esteem and confidence to face their problems. Look out for anything that the person has done well is can be simply getting through the day when their mood is low or the fact that they reached out for help.

7. Never give advises: Giving advises not only takes away the person’s space to talk but also removes the opportunity for them to figure on their own the solution for their own problem. Moreover, the person is the expert of their situation and you can’t know every detail of the situation. Instead, help them see the issue clearer throughout the discussion and then ask them what they feel like they should do.

8. Never give personal opinions: People chose based on their values, so right and wrong choices don’t exist. If you have different values than the person you’re listening to, that doesn’t make them wrong and that doesn’t make you right.

9. Don’t take it personally: If the person is frustrated and angry, try to understand the way they're feeling and how difficult they might find it to express himself.

10. Ending the conversation: some conversation will reach a natural conclusion, for others you might need to take the lead on bringing the conversation to a conclusion. You can do that by saying “We’ve covered a lot of ground, how do you feel right now?” or simply tell them that you’ll need to go in few minutes so you’ll give them a chance to talk and close up in what’s left of the time, and you can always offer to stay in touch had they needed to talk further about some other time.

Not every discussion should end up with a solution; the mere fact that you’ve listened, understood and showed empathy might make the person feel a lot better and empowered to face their problem.

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