It's hard to stop worrying once you start: One nagging thought leads to two, two quadruples to eight, and suddenly you feel like that guy in "The Shining." Worrying is distracting, exhausting and completely unnecessary. It deprives you of the whole living-in-the-moment thing, which is much healthier, not to mention way more fun.
Here are 10 things to stop worrying about, stat (or at least, dial back on a few notches):
1. Ending up homeless
A 2013 study by Allianz Life Insurance found that 49 percent of women fear ending up broke and homeless, no matter their current financial status. This is especially true if you run your own business or are a freelancer - if you stop, so does your income. But here's the thing (and this is coming from someone who was once unemployed, in an insane amount of debt and on the verge of eviction): You're more resilient than you think.
I thought that losing everything I once thought was important would destroy me, but surprisingly the opposite happened: I felt free and fearless, since, when you have nothing to lose you have nothing to be afraid of. One, you won't lose everything if you sleep in just this one time. Two, even if your worst case scenario were to come true, you'd power through and climb your way back to success because that's who you are. You got this.
2. What his text "really" meant
If he texted you "k", it doesn't mean he's not interested or doesn't want to talk, and it especially doesn't mean he's trying to pull away. He's a guy. "K" either means "k", or "I suck at texting and will just talk to you later. With words."
3. Your hair
It looks great.
4. Being happy
Happiness isn't something you can force. We were given a wide spectrum of emotions for a reason - feel them, live them, love them. The harder you try to be happy, the unhappier you'll become. Trust.
5. Being single/settling down
Just because you're single doesn't mean you'll always be single (unless that's how you roll). And just because you're dating someone exclusively doesn't mean you eventually have to settle down with that person. There's no blueprint to finding or staying in a relationship, so you can stop worrying about what you "should" be doing and focus on what you want to do.
6. Keeping up with trends
Okay, so your 17-year-old niece knows who's hot in music and beauty and fashion - but you know who you are, which makes you cooler by default. The only reason why we knew about all of those things when we were younger is because we were trying to define ourselves. Now that we know what we like and don't like, we can stop worrying and let it all go.
7. Whether you're "living" right
Both of my BFFs are now married and having kids, so I've officially become the spinster aunt who still lives like I'm in college - and I have no intention of changing anytime soon. There's no appropriate timeframe to reach your goals, and when you're blazing your own trail there's really no appropriate timeframe for anything. Things will happen when they happen.
There are only two ways to know you're on the right track: One, you feel like you're on the wrong track, and two, everyone thinks what you're doing is batshit crazy. (And if two makes you feel like an isolated loner, you're definitely on the right track.)
8. Disappointing someone
Unfortunately, it's impossible to not disappoint people at some point or another. It's an inevitable part of the whole being human thing. Focus more on not disappointing yourself.
9. Running out of mascara/vitamins/food
You know that thing where you add something to your shopping list six months before you'll run out "just in case you forget"? Stop it. I did this again about an hour ago and have wanted to punch myself in the face ever since.
10. Taking too many pictures of your pet
There's no such thing.
What do you want to stop worrying about most?
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Image: Worried photo via Shutterstock