One of my all-time favorite songs is “Don’t Worry – Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. Click here if you’d like to watch it on YouTube. I just played it, and now I can’t get the music out of my head. I guess I shouldn’t worry about that, and just “Be Happy.”
While it is a nice song, it is not practical advice, especially if something is really bothering you.
However, I do have some great advice for an alternative to the use of the word “worry.”
This really works.
My wife and I both hold each other accountable to following this rule in our daily language.
Each and every time we think to use the word “worry,” instead we replace it with the word “aware.” It works every time. Here are some examples, from a Top Ten List of Things that People Worry About from Elite Daily:
- Instead of saying “I’m worried about paying the bills this month,” you could say “I’m aware there may be challenges in paying the bills this month.”
- Instead of saying “I’m worried that I’m with the wrong person,” you could say “I’m aware that I might be with the wrong person.”
- Instead of saying “I’m worried that I’ll never find the right person for me,” you could say “I’m aware that I might not ever find the right person for me.”
- Instead of saying “I’m worried about finding what I want to do with my life,” you could say “I’m aware that I need to find what I want to do with my life.”
- Instead of saying “I’m worried about not spending enough time with my family,” you could say “I’m aware that I could be spending more time with my family.”
I’m sure you get it by now.
Do you notice how much better you feel when you use the word “aware” instead of “worry?” “Awareness” gives you power and a choice and authority over your thinking and your actions. “Worry” pulls you into a useless burning of emotional energy about something that may or may not happen in the future, and usually something for which you have no influence, and for sure, that your current “worry” has no positive impact.
So, why don’t you try it?
The next time you start to use the word “Worry,” quickly replace it with the word “Aware.”
I bet you’ll like the way you feel!
Please shoot back a note and let me know what you think.