Why Stressing About The Future Is Unnecessary (From The Girl Who Does Just That)

Firstly, why is it that we stress about what’s to come, and what hasn’t yet arrived? Lack of control.

Even if we know what to expect of a certain day, there’s no solid guarantee of how that day is going to go and we have no control over it either. That’s what makes us anxious and therefore stress about the future, especially if we haven’t got a plan.

To be entirely honest I am in the boat of uncertainty right now. I’m scared to make big decisions about the future because I fear the outcome, and my mind is very good at convincing me of the possible negative outcomes…

Hands up if you’re brain likes to be a big pain in the bum like mine!!

What good is it to live life constantly poring over every decision you have to make? We’ll never know for certain what decision is right or wrong until it’s made, and even then we still learn from it.

Positives can come from so-called wrong decisions too. Life is all about the well thought out decisions but also the sudden ones that feel right in your soul.

Decisions are what shape our lives and so there is no right or wrong one. Either one leads us to our destination in the end.

To stress about days that haven’t arrived yet is to waste your time away. No matter what, even when we reach the future we’re stressing over now, we’ll worry about something else to come in the future after that.

Trust me, I understand how much of a toughie this one is. It’s something that I’m working very hard on (whilst also working on the anxiety).

Obviously, it’s not a switch, you can’t decide to stop worrying about the future just like that. It takes time and practise and even then you’ll still have your moments!

I remember being told that I needed to stess less after being physically sick from a build up of anxiety, now this wasn’t meant nastily and I definitely knew that at the time but I still though “Eh??? I can’t just get rid of this!!” and so I really do hope that this isn’t coming across as patronising because that is NOT my intention.

I am constantly working on myself and sometimes I have to go back to square one and I’ve come to accept that that’s okay.

When we get caught up in the worries and troubles, I’ve found that distractions are key. Here are some simple yet effective ones –

– Go for a walk, my favourite. Notice your surroundings and take in every element.

– Talk to a friend, a family member, your pet, whoever. Vent it out.

– Make a cup of tea, the solver of all problems (almost…).

– Research. Sometimes, figuring out how you can work towards your future can help calm the stress because you gain a bit of control, still, be careful with this one.

– Sit down and read a book, watch some telly, write or play a game. Anything that’ll get you focused on something else.

Stress is caused when we feel out of control and so it’s no wonder that the future is one that causes us to stress so much. However, the future hasn’t arrived yet, even if your future is tomorrow or next week, we’re still living in today, nothing else matters yet.

I don’t mean you should sit around and expect life to give you what you want no, but to slowly learn to accept the things you cannot change nor control and focus on what you can do to work towards your idealistic future.

If the stress is becoming a problem, please remember to reach out – speak to your GP, a friend or an anonymous helpline. Help IS available always!!

Ciao for now x

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.