Worry is a negative way of thinking that will bring you to a dead end. There are two kinds of worries and that some people prefer to distinguish the two by calling one for worries and the other for concerns. Both worries and concerns are thoughts about what might go wrong in the future, but worries are problem oriented and concerns are solution oriented. Worries are also thoughts about past and present events.
You want to switch from worry to concern and to do that you need to understand the difference between the two. Worries are always about things that are out of your control. E.g. earthquake, weather conditions, inflation, unemployment, catching a cold and what other people decide to do.
The latter is the most important to understand; you cannot control other people; there is absolutely no way you can make sure that other people do exactly what you want them to do. The only thing you can do is take precautions that prevent negative future events as best as you can. E.g. locking your door to prevent burglary. Those precautions are within your control; thus, these precautions stem from a concern.
Ask yourself: Is it possible to take precautions for something that happened in the past? The answer is no, of course. If something has already happened you cannot prevent it, you can only prevent future events, but you can learn from the past events. E.g. if it rains you would bring an umbrella because last time it rained you got wet.
Worrying is a mental habit that you can do even without noticing and that habit can be self-destructive. Worries tend to go in circles and they never end; you can sit and worry about one thing and suddenly the worries carry on new worries, because there are always unforeseen things that can happen. If you are caught in a viscous circle of worries then you will stagnate; you have to break the circle of worries.
Here are three steps to switch from worries to concerns:
- Is the problem within your control?
- If yes, then what actions can you take?
- If no, then what precautions can you take?