“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.” – Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama)
I don’t know if it’s an original thought or I heard it somewhere and forgot, but I have long said worry is just a prayer* for what you don’t want.
I believe it was a mentor of mine (Steve Chandler) that said “worry is a misuse of the imagination.”
So what is a proper use of the imagination? Of thought?
It’s asking yourself:
“Does this matter?”
“If it does, in what way, to what extent?”
“If this didn’t matter, what is creating my unease? How can I create a resourceful cognitive/emotional state?”
“What do I truly want in this situation? How can I move towards that?”
“What is the best outcome for all involved, including myself?”
“Putting aside what I don’t want, and being in a state of gentle curiosity, what might be what I want?”
* Mind you, I am not a religious person, but prayer is just such an apt word.