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How to Worry Less: 90% of What You Fear Won’t Happen

How to Worry Less: 90% of What You Fear Won’t Happen
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What if? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I’m wasting my time? Everyone will know I failed, and then everyone will hate me. Do any of these debilitating questions sound familiar to you? You’re not alone. Anxiety disorders [1] are on the rise, and unfortunately it’s our own fault. The way that we process information and expectations has taken a negative toll on our mentalities, filling up our heads with disastrous scenarios that will never play out.

Worrying is normal, but not if it’s keeping you up at night.

If nothing phased you at all, then that would be a totally different issue. But many of us torture ourselves with thoughts and scenarios that just aren’t in touch with reality.

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Example: You just started a new job as a waitress. You don’t fully know the menu, so you rang in some orders incorrectly. To make things worse, you broke a few plates, and now all of your coworkers are annoyed. After you go home that night, you consider never returning to avoid humiliation. But you need the job, so you go in anyway, bracing yourself for ridicule. Much to your surprise, everyone is pleasant and carrying on as if yesterday’s disasters never happened. No one is mad at you, and they certainly don’t hate you. Now that you know the protocol better, you’re less likely to make those mistakes again. So it’s all good.

My motto: prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. Notice how I didn’t say EXPECT the worst, because then you’re already setting a foundation for negativity. Overly enthusiastic optimism can be unrealistic and annoying, but you need to keep an open mind. Don’t worry about something unless it’s actually happening. Don’t concern yourself with what might be, because it hasn’t happened.

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You’re sabotaging yourself by worrying too much.

If you let your fears get the best of you, then it’s going to hold you back. You may pass up opportunities or act irrationally because of what could happen, or you have the wrong idea. Either way, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Let’s look at this from a romantic perspective. You may lose out on a great relationship because you’re too afraid of getting burned again. Or let’s say you’re already in the relationship, and you become paranoid because you jump to the worst case scenario if they don’t answer their phone for 5 minutes.

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People tend to expect disaster because they ignore the probability.

Here are a list of things that probably won’t happen even though you’re scared to death that it will:

Plane crash: Car crashes are way more common

I’ll be honest, when I let the reality sink in that I’m hovering thousands of miles above ground, it is a bit unsettling. I feel so exposed, vulnerable. My sister actually helped to console me on this by pointing out that anytime there is a plane crash, it makes national news. Why? Because it’s so uncommon. There are thousands of people who work to route the airways to ensure that there aren’t any collisions. How many car crashes make the paper? Unless there was a celebrity inside one of the vehicles, not many. That’s because they’re so common. So next time you get freaked out about flying just keep in mind that plane crashes are incredibly rare.

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Judgment: The truth is, no one really cares that much

This is a big one. We think that everyone is watching and taking note of our every move. The truth is, no one really cares that much. Not to be harsh, but the fact that you said something offbeat in a conversation three weeks ago is probably never going to come up again. In fact, at the time it may have been humiliating for you. But the people you were speaking to probably snickered, shrugged it off, and forgot about it entirely. So stop worrying. You are your own worst critic, and you’re only shining a spotlight on your own flaws.

Abandonment: By avoiding being abandoned, you probably push people away

Unfortunately this one is a bit deep-seeded and difficult to kick. Generally, if you’ve been abandoned or let down by someone you look up to and respect, it’s going to cause a huge blow to your ego and expectations of others. But you need to realize that not everyone is out to hurt you, and  . In both cases, you’re going to end up alone. So give people a chance to show you that they want to be in your lives. If they don’t, just let them go.

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Reference

More by this author

Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About
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Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

    If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

    The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

    Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

    There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

    Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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    Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

    Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

    Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

    • The idea for Google -Larry Page
    • Alternating current generator -Tesla
    • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
    • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
    • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

    …and many, many more.

    Fact #4: Premonition dreams

    There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

    You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

    • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
    • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
    • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
    • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

    Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

    Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

    Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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    Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

    In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

    Fact #7: Sexual dreams

    The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

    Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

      Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

      Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

      • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
      • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
      • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

      Fact #9: Dream drug

      There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

      Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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        The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

        Fact #11: Increased brain activity

        You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

        Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

        As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

        Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

        In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

        Fact #13: Pets dream too

          Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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          Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

          Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

          Fact #15: Blind people dream too

          Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

          Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

            It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

            Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

            Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

            Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

            You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

            Fact #19: Gender differences

            Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

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            Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

            As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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