You’ve got to learn how to distinguish between those problems you can solve and those you can’t in a realistic manner.
Dealing with worries you can’t possibly solve means that you must be in touch with your emotions and find out why you’re so anxious about something you have no control over. Worrying about a nuclear war falls under this category.
It will likely never happen, but you may be obsessing over it anyway.
When you begin to obsess about a problem, stop a minute and try to answer the following questions:
- Is the problem imaginary or truly imminent?
- Is the concern you’re feeling realistic?
- What can you do about the situation?
If the problem is not in your control, try to find the underlying reasons for the emotions you’re experiencing. Have you been watching too much news? Are you projecting yourself into an imaginary future where catastrophic events are happening?
Unsolvable problems have no action that you can take. For example, “What if my child gets into a car accident?” or “What if my husband has an affair?” are problems which haven’t happened and which you can do nothing about.
They don’t deserve your focus.
Solvable worries are those where you have some control and can make a decision to take action. For example, if you’re worried about getting cancer, visit the doctor for a thorough checkup to rule it out. It may be scary to make that appointment, but afterward you can rest easy – or take steps to fight it.
Brainstorm solutions for what you’re worried about. The solution doesn’t have to be a flawless one, but when you’re focused on what you can do about a situation, the worry melts away and a plan of action takes its place. That’s much more empowering than constant worry.
Worrying can become an avoidance tactic that you use when you’re afraid of an outcome. Many chronic worriers endanger their health, relationships and much more by procrastinating about taking action – whether it works or not. At least you’re attempting to do something about the problem.
Taking action can dissolve your worries quickly. Rather than crying and feeling sorry for yourself, you’re actually taking the steps needed to rid yourself of unnecessary anguish that’s hard on your body and mind.