“To prolong life, worry less.”
~Ancient Chinese proverb

Have you picked up a magazine lately that didn’t offer suggestions on how to live a longer life? There are endless ideas about new, perfect foods we all have to eat, exercises we all need to start (or stop), pills we should take, sleep we must get – the list goes on and on. It seems we are on a perpetual quest for the answer to a longer life. Is it possible the Chinese had a great suggestion centuries ago?

I challenge you to review your own life and see what you think about the suggestion. Is your face showing worry lines? Do you waste minutes (or even days) imagining horrendous outcomes to situations or crying over losses that haven’t even happened yet? How many times have you worked through an argument with someone who wasn’t even in the room – so that by the time they walked in the door you only could argue with them? Have you ever spent a sleepless night because your boss suggested you have lunch and “a talk” the next day? Do you see yourself bombing at the big presentation, or missing something essential in the report, or not having all the answers to a tough situation for your team?

This list is also endless. We simply, easily find numerous reasons to worry on a daily basis, and, left to our own devices, we could probably come up with a handful more. Yet I believe it’s time to “just say no.” To focus on “what is” not “what if.” Replace the worrisome thoughts with productive thoughts, or confident thoughts. Imagine a positive outcome to a situation. Remember the times that things have worked out before. Envision something or someone encouraging, standing by your side, and helping you through. By choosing not to worry, by finding something else to think about, we can prolong our life – if not in actuality, at least we’ll feel like we have so many more minutes, hours, and days to play with and spend fruitfully when we no longer use them to worry.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

Where are you worrying? What are you worrying about? How can you stop?
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