By Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom
These four words resonate with everyone – but how easy is this to do?
Michael J. Fox , the gifted TV and film actor, has a wonderful attitude about managing worry that I’d like to share with you. You might know that he has lived with Parkinson’s disease for nearly 20 years. And when it comes to managing a chronic illness, the “worry factor” is part of daily life.
When asked about his concerns about his future physical health, his response provided me with a burst of clarity in “worry management.” He said that it doesn’t pay to worry and explained why. If you worry about something and it finally occurs, then you’re worrying twice about the same thing. And for him, once is enough.
So cast your worries aside, and keep a smile on your face. Start by looking at your day and listing the positives instead of what went wrong. Learn to be a glass-half-full person – not a half-empty one. Think about what put a smile of your face during the day.
But if you’ve tried these strategies and your worry-meter continues to rise, reaching out to a family member or friend for help is an important next step. Sometimes a friendly ear is the best treatment. And talk to your doctor if you can’t seem to shake your worries for large parts of the day or night. Asking for help to support a healthy mind and body is a symbol of strength, not weakness.
What do you do to manage your worries? Let me know!