TOL: Learning to Breathe

As a planner and professional worrier, it can be hard to allow things to just happen. Not being able to control a situation is scary and stressful. I am truly learning what it means to let go and let God. There are so many things that could go wrong and so many things that I’ll never be able to control. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to learn that worrying about everything I can’t control gets me nowhere. When I’m feeling these doubts, anxieties, and worries come up, here are some things I now tell myself to avoid a melt down.

Do these thoughts serve me?

Does all of this overthinking and anxiety serve a good purpose in my life? Am I overthinking and worrying for no reason? If these thoughts are only causing more anxiety and more overthinking, I need to push them away. Thoughts come and we can’t always control them, but we can control what we do with those initial thoughts. I choose to acknowledge them and let them go when they do not serve me. 

Stop.Breathe.Enjoy the now.

So often I am focusing on the “what’s next” mindset. I wanted to finish high school, wanted to get done college, wanted to get married, etc. etc. When I feel my brain longing for the “next best thing” I try to breathe deep and bring myself back to the now. Be grateful for the simple joys of where you are now. They will soon be a distant memory as life changes and grows.

Rather than complain, choose gratitude.

When I’d rather complain and have a pity party for myself, I try to decide to be grateful. I have a lot to be grateful for and I often take those things for granted. Even on a tough and stressful day when everything seems to be going wrong, I can still find reason to smile. I choose to be grateful for the things I have rather than worry about what I can’t control.

So what?

We all have things  that we fret about that we can’t control. It’s okay to feel lost and nervous about things, but don’t allow the unknowns to take over your world. Life happens and works itself out. It may not always be the way we thought it would be or the way we had it planned for ourselves, but sometimes it’s better! Let’s take the leap of faith and let go of what we can’t control. Let’s enjoy what we have right now and enjoy life’s ride. Breathe in. breathe out. smile.be grateful. We are given one life to live, let’s not live it worrying our days away.

Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud!

Do you get worried over things you cant control? How do you deal? What’s one thing you can do today to let go of unwanted anxiety?

Tell me in the comments below!

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21 thoughts on “TOL: Learning to Breathe

  1. Oh man I so stress about things I can’t control. The future freaks me out though – even just the thought of it – so I try to just focus on the here and the now. I try to take each day as a new opportunity to just be – whatever that may be- and embrace the chances life gives me to be better.

  2. “Planner and professional worrier.” What a quote!
    I think you’re wise to point out that it’s okay to feel lost and nervous, but we certainly don’t have to let that get in our way. As for your thoughts about always being focused on “the next thing” (high school, college, marriage) etc., it’s kinda sad that that’s the way our culture kind of trains us to be. We have to “achieve,” be the best, rather than enjoy life and be ourselves.
    It reminds me of advice I’ve heard from many writing friends–you’re never going to finish a novel (or any book-length work, for that matter), if you’re only focused on having the thing done and don’t enjoy the process.

    • Thats good advice! I definitely agree that it’s very much a cultural thing too. As a whole, if we aren’t focused on the next best achievement then we are slackers!

  3. Amen friend! 🙂 Being grateful and taking the leap of faith, knowing that God is holding me, that Jesus Christ promised in Matthew 28 that He will be with me always, with His bride to the end of the age is so comforting and keeps reminding me to breathe because God has it all under His sovereign control.

    So I can just be grateful and take it day by day!

  4. Well said, Heather! I learned many years ago that there is a big difference between true planning and concern vs. worrying about something. One of Pop-Pop’s best sermons (among many!) was his “Why Worry?” one, which was one of the few that he actually repeated over his ,what, 50 years of ministry or whatever it was , because he felt it was so important!

    • Yep! I think it’s very natural for us to lean on the worrying for no reason. I wish I could remember that specific sermon but I must have been too small!

  5. I needed this reminder especially much today. I have been so anxious about college. It has consumed my thoughts and made me a pretty nasty person to be around lately. I’m working to focus in on the realization that God has a plan for my life, and by worrying, it’s like I’m saying I don’t trust Him.

    I do a pretty poor job of managing anxiety…but talking or praying with an understanding friend helps. Also, forcing myself to do something that takes mental effort(e.g. reading, gardening, cooking), gets my mind off of whatever I’m worried about. Thanks for this <3

    • I need this reminder almost daily! Good luck with everything–i know that is such a stressful phase of life! Exciting but stressful!

  6. enjoying the now is so helpful for me, sometimes I get so trapped in thinking about the past or the future that I just need to breathe and enjoy the present. Great post girl!

    • Thanks, Alyssa. I don’t dwell on the past much but definitely struggle with worrying or overthinking the what ifs of the future!

  7. I think we were on a bit of the same wave length today. Those thoughts… sigh. You said it. We can’t really control when they come, but we can control what to do with them. It takes a lot of self talk and practice but I do think we can will ourselves to let go of those thoughts. And that it will get easier the more we do it. We may just have to do a lot of talking to ourselves to get there! But I’m always okay with looking a little nuts 🙂

  8. One of those things that are easier said than done. At least for me as a constant over-thinker/-worrier truly being in the moment is hard. Nonetheless, I still get back to focusing on the little bits that brighten my life and that I’m grateful for right now – before my mind starts rattling again …
    An important reminder to appreciate the now, Heather, so thank you!

  9. I can so relate to this issue. Whenever things are out of my control I feel frantic and anxious – like I NEED to be in control of everything. I try and (as you said) let go and let God. He is the leader of my life and all His ways are good <3

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