Reframe worry/fear as concern

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” This is often the case. We tend to worry about things which would better classified as possibilities than realities.

Worries, fear and anxiety tend to take over our minds and leave no space for clarity or sound judgment which can help us make effective decisions and productive progress.

It is not as if the those thoughts about the situation are wrong – it is what we do with those thoughts. Do we turn them into thoughts of concern or of anxiety/fear? While there are subtle differences between fear and concern, they do have a similar function – they are SIGNALS to direct us toward a particular course of action.

FEAR brings on the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. CONCERN encourages action.

It is a good thing to be concerned with daily needs, challenges, troubles, and uncertainties. But to be overwhelmed by them or live in dread of such things goes far beyond a reasonable concern.

Concern asks questions like: “What can I do right now with this reality that I am in?” “What might be a viable next step?” “What other information do I need to make a reasonable decision?” “Who else can I talk to about this?” “Is this really something that I can have influence over or is it beyond my ‘zone of influence’?”

If you are feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed by worry or anxiety, it is worthwhile to reframe those thoughts as concern. That new mindset about the situation can help you think and act more effectively.

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